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Response to warrprayer (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 04:35 PM

11. Levi Strauss, Mountain City, TN


From 1996 to 2002 I was executive director of a non-profit affiliated with the Methodist Church, working in NE TN and SW VA, repairing and building houses for low- and very-low income families. We worked in Washington County, TN, home of Mountain City, TN.

The biggest employer in Mountain City was Levi Strauss, employing something like 350 people . . . good jobs, decent hourly wages, good benefits.

One day in 1999 I was in Mountain City for the board meeting of a local housing agency ( headed by a retired Marine general !). He told me to get in his truck, he wanted to show me something. We drove to the Levi plant. The parking lot was all but empty. Six flat-bed trailers were backed up to the loading docks and something was going on inside the plant. We went onto the loading dock and talked to a couple of the truck drivers.

Levi was closing the plant . . . they announced the closing a week or so after this visit. Some of the workers were in the plant, disconnecting the equipment, fork-lifting the equipment onto pallets, shrink-wrapping it, and loading it onto the flat-beds. The drivers told us they were leaving Mountain City and driving directly to a new Levi's plant in XXXXX, Mexico, where the equipment would be installed.

Levi gave the Mountain City employees a typical separation package. As I recall it was something like two month's pay and retain their health insurance and life insurance for six months ( one of their optional benefits was a $100,000 life insurance policy -- Levi split the cost with any employee who wanted it ).

Within the next two months, two laid-off employees killed themselves. Both were the sole support for elderly parents; one was a volunteer with my Marine friend's organization. Both killed themselves so their elderly parents would get the $100,000 insurance settlement.

I guess that's about what a human life is worth.

To this day I refuse to wear anything made by Levi Strauss. Instead, I wear Pointer Brand jeans, manufactured by the L. C. King Co., Bristol, TN . . . a mom-and-pop company that hires local people and is not moving to Mexico.

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warrprayer Nov 2013 OP
Dreamer Tatum Nov 2013 #1
warrprayer Nov 2013 #4
whistler162 Nov 2013 #20
Kingofalldems Nov 2013 #12
TheCowsCameHome Nov 2013 #14
KamaAina Nov 2013 #32
fadedrose Nov 2013 #2
warrprayer Nov 2013 #6
fasttense Nov 2013 #3
warrprayer Nov 2013 #5
hfojvt Nov 2013 #9
warrprayer Nov 2013 #8
warrprayer Nov 2013 #7
legcramp Nov 2013 #10
LineReply Levi Strauss, Mountain City, TN
OldRedneck Nov 2013 #11
flying rabbit Nov 2013 #13
fasttense Nov 2013 #16
DiverDave Nov 2013 #17
CrispyQ Nov 2013 #18
Ikonoklast Nov 2013 #27
KittyWampus Nov 2013 #22
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Douglas Carpenter Nov 2013 #19
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #21
Populist_Prole Nov 2013 #24
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #25
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warrprayer Nov 2013 #23
AndyA Nov 2013 #26
madinmaryland Nov 2013 #29
Brigid Nov 2013 #30
warrprayer Nov 2013 #31
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