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Letter To Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao

Location: Boston, MA

Kerry Urges Department of Labor to financially assist Fall River employees affected by closing of Quaker Fabric

Senator John Kerry today urged Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to support Quaker Fabric's application for funding under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA). TAA provides training for American workers who have lost their jobs to foreign competitors so that they can transition into new industries. The Fall River company was recently forced to close its doors and lay off 900 employees due to competition from foreign textile manufacturers.

"I strongly urge Secretary Chao to approve Quaker Fabric's request for financial assistance. The very livelihood of 900 Massachusetts workers and their families is at stake. We must do all we can to ensure that everyone affected will get help and won't be abandoned," said Senator Kerry. "These are hardworking people who have played by the rules and contributed to Fall River's economy and we owe it to them to help them through these difficult economic times."

The text of the letter is as follows:

The Honorable Elaine Chao
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Chao:

I am writing to request your support for the application submitted by the Quaker Fabric company of Fall River, Massachusetts for funding under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA). Quaker was recently forced to close its manufacturing plant and lay off 900 local employees as a result of foreign competition.

Quaker's decision to close operations in Fall River was based in part on its lenders belief that it could not longer be profitable manufacturing fabrics domestically. As a result, Quaker is unable to secure a loan that would allow it to retain employees or execute a long-term business plan. It has unfortunately fallen victim to intense foreign competition in the textile market that has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs throughout New England.

It is imperative that we do everything possible to help the 900 Quaker employees who have lost their jobs. TAA funding will help them transition into other industries and contribute to Fall River's economy. Given that Quaker's decision to shut its Fall River plant is directly tied to competition from foreign manufacturers, I urge you to approve its TAA application quickly and begin providing the assistance that my constituents desperately need.

I appreciate your attention to this request.


John F. Kerry

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