For immediate release
December 20, 2005
COLUMBUS, MS-Workers at American Power Source, a military uniform contractor, were delivered an untimely threat in the week before Thanksgiving: they might have to look for another job. The threats of a plant closure came from the plant manager on behalf of the company’s owner, Roxanne Ferreiro, of Weston, Massachusetts. Plant workers plan to attend the meeting of the City Council today at the municipal building to raise awareness about the possibility of job losses in the city.
The city is the current landlord for the property occupied by American Power Source at 826 17th Avenue South. Furthermore, the building was repaired with $150,000 in public monies to make it ready for American Power Source and to bring economic development to the city of Columbus in 2003.
Workers like Sharita Garth hope that the City Council will treat this matter seriously and seek answers immediately from Ferreiro. Garth asks, “Is Ferreiro planning to close the plant and move it to another city in Mississippi? Will we lose our jobs? Nobody wants that the happen. If our city and state are to grow and prosper, we must learn to court businesses that want to promote our people and keep jobs in Lowndes County.”
American Power Source is a uniform contractor that supplies military uniforms for our country’s soldiers and employs about 300 people in Mississippi and Alabama. The company, whose sole customer is the U.S. Government and has received over $32 million from the Department of Defense since 2002, pays workers poverty wages and fails to provide safe working conditions. Additionally, the company has been charged with a Federal labor law violation and faces an additional pending charge.
Workers are fighting to organize a union at American Power Source to improve their working conditions. UNITE HERE is the union of apparel, textile, hospitality, gaming, and laundry workers and represents nearly half a million workers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.