By  on June 15, 1994

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D., Pa.) said Tuesday he plans to telephone John J. Pomerantz, chairman of The Leslie Fay Cos., this week to seek his appearance at a second congressional hearing into the company's decision to eliminate 1,200 Pennsylvania factory jobs and move production off shore.

Kanjorski said in an interview that he wants Pomerantz to appear to probe the "real reason" the company wants to make this move.

The company says the move is needed because it "can't afford the wage levels here. I have a hard time believing that. It has to be something else," Kanjorski said.

Kanjorski contended that Leslie Fay's "market is not that price competitive" to require more overseas production.

Pomerantz declined to appear at a June 7 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Labor Management Relations in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., stating that the company felt it was inappropriate for the panel to hold hearings in an attempt to influence private sector collective bargaining. The production shutdown is the main issue in the ILGWU strike that started June 1 against Leslie Fay,

The date of the next hearing has not been set, Kanjorski said, adding that he is discussing possibilities with subcommittee chairman Pat Williams (D., Mont.).

If Leslie Fay is moving domestic production facilities because it needs capital, Kanjorski further said, he would be willing to seek federal funding for equipment or a bridge loan to keep it operating. The state of Pennsylvania also has promised the company financial aid in an attempt to keep the jobs.

"If they don't tell us the real reason, we can't help them," Kanjorski said.

Responding to Kanjorski's call for a second hearing, a Leslie Fay spokesman said Pomerantz and other company officials would be "happy to meet with the congressman to discuss our situation" at his office in Washington or at the company's offices at 1400 Broadway in New York.

"However, we will not meet in an open forum which is clearly intended to be a political event rather than a legitimate attempt at fact-finding," the Leslie Fay spokesman said. The Leslie Fay spokesman said the reason for closing the production facilities is that they are "not profitable, with or without government assistance."

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