Clark Thread Company Cites Costs, Lack of Labor----CIO Union Denounces Action

Special to The New York Times

NEWARK, N.J., May 23----A concern that has been in business in Newark for more than eighty years, the Clark Thread Company, announced today that a fifteen year program of moving its entire operation to Georgia would be completed this fall.

The labor market and labor costs in the Newark area were cited by John B. CLARK, president of the company, as the factors that originally caused the concern to start building up its operations in the South.  The company manufactures O.N.T. thread and is one of the largest in the country.

He said the company's Newark mills, covering three city blocks, and a plant in Bloomfield, has been purchased by the Newark Terminal Corporation, New York investors.  This group was said to have already completed leases for units totaling 80,000 square feet.  The Louis Schlesinger Company of Newark was broker in the sale.

Mr. CLARK declared that some of the 1,000 workers who had been employed in Newark would be transferred to the company's plants at Austell, GA., on the outskirts of Atlanta, and other places in Georgia, while others will be pensioned or given severance pay, depending on their length of service.

He explained that changes in the industrial picture in New Jersey had gradually compelled the company to move to Georgia.  He said, for example, that his company was the only thread mill in an area that had become a center for electrical instrument manufacturing.

Workers, he said, were reluctant to enter the thread mills, where special skills were required, and would rather follow friends and relatives into the electrical plants.  He said his wages compared favorable with other industries in Newark.

Sol Stetin, New Jersey director of the Textile Workers of America, CIO, denounced the move as part of a trend on the part of the textile industry to look not only for cheaper labor, but also for cheaper water, taxes and real estate in the South.

He said that Southern states were engaged in "competitive bidding" for textile mills and suggested that the industry could do better if it spent money modernizing its operations, rather than looking for cheaper places to operate.

The CIO union attempted to represent the Clark workers two years ago but lost a close run-off election to determine a collective bargaining agency.  The election was won by an independent union at the plant.

Mr. Stetin asserted that a number of the workers would be "thrown on the street" with no experience to take up other jobs and said the CIO intended to help them find jobs in other textile mills.  He expressed the hope that the city of Newark would cooperate in this effort.

New York Times Article - Saturday, May 24, 1947 - Page 21 Column 6
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