Sporting goods manufacturer Rawlings Costa Rica is laying off 200 employees at its plant in Turrialba, east of Cartago province, the company’s local GM, Alejandro Cotter Penón, confirmed on Tuesday.
Cotter said the company’s apparel manufacturing division will move to El Salvador in coming weeks, and all Costa Rica workers from that production line will be let go.
The employees were notified last Thursday, and the layoffs will be completed by the second half of September. Rawlings operations in Costa Rica will drop from 650 workers to 450.
“Our top market is baseball and softball manufacturing, and these divisions will remain here. We will even boost that operation,” Cotter said. “Apparel manufacturing currently is a very competitive global market. Unfortunately, it is mostly dominated by Asian factories, and we can’t compete here. El Salvador has extensive local factories that produce yarn, fabric and all of the necessary materials, therefore costs are lower there.”
Cotter said Rawlings is working with the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) to help those workers find a new job.
“CINDE has helped us build a database of profiles of all workers, with all their skills and experience. We will help them relocate to companies in this area or in neighboring areas,” Cotter said.
Rawlings launched operations in Costa Rica in 1986, and last year exported 2.4 million baseballs and 300,000 softballs, Cotter said.
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