It's tough news to receive especially just before the holiday season.  New Era Cap informed employees on Tuesday morning that it will be closing its Derby plant and shifting jobs to Miami.

The decision will affect 219 workers at the Derby plant.  Workers there are expected to receive benefits and severance.  The company's downtown Buffalo headquarters and its 337 employees will not be affected.

New Era has contracts with Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL to provide head-wear.  The contract with Major League Baseball stipulates that all products must be made in the United States.  That's why work being done at the Derby plant will be shifted to a Miami shop that is not unionized.

New Era also uses products produced overseas in countries such as China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Company CEO Chris Koch indicated although it was difficult decision he has an obligation to ensure the long-term success of the company.  The Derby plant will be closed in March.

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