More layoffs at Selma's American Apparel - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

More layoffs at Selma's American Apparel

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SELMA, AL (WSFA) -

More layoffs are coming at Selma's American Apparel plant. The textile company learned this week that it did not win an Army uniform contract, and as a result, as many as 250 employees could lose their jobs.

At first glance it appears to be just another day at work for people like Angela Craig, but deep down there is a sharp pain of disappointment. The real possibility that hundreds will be out of work soon.

"No...," Craig explained when asked. "I have another, at least 15 more years before I'll be able to retire."

AA isn't just a shop in Dallas County. It's one of the largest employers. If 250 people lose their jobs, the company would be left with just over 100 people at the plant.

The reason is the Defense Logistics Agency in Pennsylvania chose not to renew the contract with American Apparel. Since 2005 the company has produced camouflage combat coats for the U.S. Army.

DLA awarded the contract to the Alaska Native Corporation, a business that submitted a proposed contract that was 5 percent less than what American Apparel had offered.

Chuck Lambert is fully aware this is part of the free enterprise system, but he feels that's not the point here. He says Alaska Native Corp. has never even produced the coat that's being made in Selma. He admits, "they have experience on a couple other items..."

Lambert says the layoffs begin next week. The average pay is around ten dollars per hour.

This impacts a lot of people who've been here for more than 30 years, including Craig. She's already trying to come up with a Plan B.

"If I have to go back to school, I just have to do it," she says.

Still, there is hope this won't happen. American Apparel has appealed DLA's decision to the Government Accountability Office, or GAO.

Lambert says he's "not comfortable" that the contract winner can produce the product in the quantity required on a monthly basis. 

Either way the GAC is expected to make its ruling within 90 days. For now, employees are hunkering down and hoping for the best.

A request for a response was asked of the Alaskan Native Corporation, but they've yet to respond to WSFA 12 News.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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  • Rep. Terri Sewell reacts

    Rep. Terri Sewell reacts

    Thursday, October 4 2012 9:58 PM EDT2012-10-05 01:58:10 GMT
    "I am deeply disappointed in the recent decision by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) not to award the Army Combat Uniform coats contract to American Apparel Inc. I am especially frustrated by this recentMore >>
    "I am deeply disappointed in the recent decision by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) not to award the Army Combat Uniform coats contract to American Apparel Inc. I am especially frustrated by this recentMore >>
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