Today, Robert Kidder, a former executive of Fall River Shirt Company, officially opened a new shirt manufacturing company, New England Shirt. The workers at New England Shirt are members of the New England Joint Board of UNITE HERE and have already negotiated a union contract with the company.
At today’s opening, UNITE HERE members proudly showed off the factory and their work to a group attending the official opening including Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan, and Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein.
As the U.S. economy struggles to retain and add good jobs, it was exciting news to see a new high-end manufacturing business opening in Fall River. Owner Robert Kidder believes that U.S., European and Japanese consumers are ready to purchase beautiful garments, in a better price range, produced by skilled craftspeople. According to Mr. Kidder, "Massachusetts can be a source for better craft-based, high-skill products. We have a base of experienced manufacturing workers who can attract craft-based employers and craft-conscious customers."
UNITE HERE New England Joint Board Manager Warren Pepicelli added, "This kind of production can provide more jobs per investment dollar than high technology. Our members are proud to be part of this great example of what Massachusetts workers can do."