By COLIN STAUB
Dennis Uniform, a major supplier of school uniforms nationwide, is moving some of its operations to Texas, leaving 71 Oregon workers without a job.
The company has operated a production plant in Portland’s Central Eastside for more than 100 years. In an Aug. 30 notice to Oregon state government, Dennis Uniform Chief Financial Officer DeGay Harris said the company will “relocate its decoration and warehousing operations to a more centralized location in Texas,” and will permanently lay off the local workers. The notice was provided in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining (WARN) Act, which requires 60 days advance notice of mass layoffs or plant closures.
The layoff covers 32 warehouse workers, 15 logo production workers, 15 embroidery clipping workers and 9 screening workers. They’ll be terminated by Nov. 1, according to the notice.
Most of the workers are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, which negotiated with the company over the effects of the layoff. According to the WARN notice, union workers who meet certain qualifications will have seniority bumping rights to transfer into jobs that aren’t being cut. Nonunion workers won’t have that option.
Besides school uniforms, Dennis Uniform also supplies all TriMet uniforms worn by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757 members.