New Era Cap Co. is laying off as many as 75 workers, or about 25 percent of the workforce, at its Derby plant.
The Buffalo-based company, which is the exclusive provider of baseball caps for Major League Baseball and the official on-field cap supplier for the National Football League, informed unionized workers of the layoffs Friday.
“I can confirm that today, in an effort to balance our production efforts with the demand for the products made at the Derby facility, we worked with the union to notify our employees that there will be a 25 percent reduction in the workforce,” New Era spokesman Paul Murphy told The Buffalo News late Friday afternoon.
Union members at the plant are represented by Local 14177, Communication Workers of America. Debbie Hayes, CWA’s upstate New York area director, said Friday that she was aware of the layoff announcement but was seeking additional details.
Murphy said that company officials were working with union leaders on when the layoffs would go into effect and added that New Era would be offering a comprehensive severance package to any employees losing their jobs.
New Era was founded in 1920 and started making baseball caps in 1934. The current CEO, Christopher H. Koch, is the great-grandson of the company founder.
The company made 50 million caps last year, selling them in 81 countries, but has branched out into other apparel.
New Era officials this spring said the company had 700 employees combined at its Derby plant and at its downtown Buffalo headquarters and retail store – among more than 1,500 employees worldwide – and said they expected to clear $750 million in sales this year.