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ATMI Plans Layoffs Of Its Own

<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = CS /><CS:BOLD>NEW YORK -- Following in the footsteps of many of its largest members, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute said Tuesday that it plans to eliminate four senior staff positions.<BR><BR>In a related...

NEW YORK — Following in the footsteps of many of its largest members, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute said Tuesday that it plans to eliminate four senior staff positions.

In a related development, the Washington-based organization’s top staffer, Carlos Moore, said he will be stepping down in about a year.

“When they find a replacement for me, I will go part-time for 12 months,” to help with the transition, executive vice president Moore said in an interview. He added that he plans to start doing some consulting work on trade issues.

The other staffers, who will be leaving the group in about two months, are deputy executive vice president and director of government relations Doug Bulcao, director of membership and administrative services Ron Floor, chief economist David Link and assistant director of government relations Julie Fleming. All those positions will be eliminated.

The cuts will reduce ATMI’s full-time staff to 15. Moore said the cuts reflect ATMI’s dwindling budget, which in turn reflects the financial pain being felt by most major textile companies.

“Our target budget for next year is going to be roughly one-third of what it was five or six years ago,” he said. “It’ll be somewhat over $2 million for the next fiscal year,” starting May 1.

The ATMI’s dues rates are based on a “value added” formula — sales minus cost of production — which is similar to gross margin.

Moore, 62, has been with the ATMI for 21 years and was promoted to executive vice president in 1985.

ATMI president Chuck Hayes, who is chairman of Guilford Mills, said, “The restructured ATMI will better reflect the size and composition of the industry it serves. These changes in no way diminish our continued commitment to lobby our industry’s issues in Washington.”

Moore’s successor will be charged with lobbying duties, as part of the overall oversight of the organization. Economic forecasting functions will likely be outsourced.

In other ATMI news, the organization has trimmed the planned length of its annual meeting to two days from three. Set to be held in Washington on March 20-21, the event will include a board meeting, a meeting of the associates’ council and one general session with speakers. Moore said the decision to cut the event’s length had been made before the decision to cut staff and reflected the overall tough times the textile industry is facing.

He said that Hayes and Van May, the ATMI’s first vice president who is in place to succeed Hayes as president at the annual meeting, hope “to revert back to the more traditional approach when conditions in the industry improve.”

May is also president and ceo of the Plains Cotton Cooperative.

Last year, the group moved its annual meeting to Washington, drawing appearances by senators and congressmen, after cutting its staff from 28 to 19 and announcing that its primary focus would be lobbying. Prior to that, ATMI annual meetings had been held at snazzy resorts at spots including Hamilton, Bermuda; Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Fajardo, Puerto Rico, where golf was as much of a focus as the speakers.

Job cuts have piled up in the textile industry in recent years. Last year, U.S. mills slashed 67,000 jobs — 13.1 percent of the total industry payroll. The momentum has carried into this year.