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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yup, he's right

A reader writes:

Second page story of the O business page had a headline in big bold font about Nau, that yuppie pseudo green clothing company whose assets were purchased by Horny Toad, a California edgy clothing store that will feature the Nau line in their stores, one of which is on 23rd Ave. And at the bottom of the same page in much smaller font, the 180 workers who lost their jobs when Pope and Talbot went bankrupt in Halsey last month will be rehired by the company that bought the assets from the bankruptcy court. Now which do you think is more important or has a larger economic impact on Oregon?

Comments (6)

The reopening of Nau is important because it continues the movement of apparel companies to PDX, including Icebreaker and Merrell, among others. This could be a great new industry for PDX. And though Nau appeals to the "yuppie" crowd, it does not make them pseudo green. Patagonia also has a yuppie following, but does great work for the environment.

I am glad Pope and Talbot reopened, and I hope they win the fight for their union's recognition. As expected, the company that purchased the Pope, won't recognize the union.

As expected, the company that purchased the Pope, won't recognize the union.

I didn't even know the Pope was for sale - let alone sold.

The things you find out on this blog never cease to amaze.

I am glad Pope and Talbot reopened, and I hope they win the fight for their union's recognition.

I wonder how many, if any, of your highly desirable "apparel companies" are unionized.

If not Nau, when?

Pope and Talbot since those jobs once here would more likely stay here (of couse, no guarantees).

Nau would eventually have an exit strategy of being sold for big bucks once it got going. THe manufacturing would be done overseas and the design would be outsourced like a lot of electronics work. So you would have 3 Nau employees in Oregon. That's the business model for a lot of "creative" companies.

I don't think Mr Adams et al realize this yet - a lot of creative jobs are not fixed in location and can leave as easily as stay. Read the World is Flat and you can thank the Internet for our mobility.

As a former Portland P&T employee myself (fortunately I got out in 2005) I've been following their saga with great interest. I could tell some stories... about both the unions in Halsey (and elsewhere) and management in Portland... but it's all old news, no good could come of it, so what's the point...

Anyhow, without knowing anything about Nau, I expect that the recovery of many of those 180 jobs (I've heard not all of them are likely to be rehired) is significantly bigger news for Oregon as a whole.

It's infinitely bigger news for the community of Halsey than the Nau news is for Trendy-Third.

And Steve is right -- assuming the mill continues to operate, those jobs will stay exactly where they are. Pretty hard to offshore that work when the multi-million dollar plant is in Oregon.

I too am glad to see the mill revived. It's a valuable asset, capable of producing valuable products. The pulp business is very volatile -- big time "boom and bust" -- but at the moment pulp prices are quite high and if expenses can be controlled it should be a profitable enterprise.

Jonathan: "This could be a great new industry for PDX."

The outdoor apparel industry is well established here and has been a great local industry for decades now.

The Pope and Talbot news is bigger. If we could only get a rational timber plan that is responsible from both the environmental and timber industry points of view, this industry could get back on its feet. It is possible to cut timber and look out for the environment simultaneously. Nothing is more sustainable than a product that grows back.

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