NEW YORK -- The ILGWU said it will begin appealing to the public today in an effort to stop The Leslie Fay Cos. from halting its domestic production.

More than 100 ILGWU members who work at Leslie Fay will converge on Herald Square here from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to distribute leaflets protesting the company's action to shoppers at Macy's and Abraham & Straus, the union said. The leaflets will ask the shoppers to support workers by contacting Leslie Fay and its president Michael J. Babcock to demand that the company "stay in the U.S.A."

"The action at Herald Square is but the first in a series that we will undertake to carry this message to the American people across the country," said Jay Mazur, ILGWU president. The union also said that a delegation of the workers will meet at 10:30 a.m. with Lee Miller, a Macy's vice president, on their dispute with the manufacturer.

As reported, Leslie Fay, which has been operating in Chapter 11 since April 1993, said it was proposing to shut down all its domestic manufacturing to cut costs and stem losses. Domestic production accounts for about half of all the company's manufacturing, and the shutdown would eliminate about 1,200 jobs, the company said.

The ILGWU said its message to shoppers on Leslie Fay will declare, "They cooked the books and now they want to burn the workers." The union's line refers to the accounting scandal that drove the firm into Chapter 11.

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