MLB caps are less than 2 percent of New Era's production total. The company said it will move production to Hialeah, Florida, and its non-MLB production "would be absorbed by our existing global supply network."
The Major League Baseball Players Association said Thursday the decision will "cause economic harm" to the workers and Derby, which is about 20 miles (32.19 kilometers) south of Buffalo.
New Era said it made the decision to "more closely align its business model with its competitors in the global sports, lifestyle and apparel industry" and said it was among the last companies in the industry to own its plants.
The company said the move is "not about chasing lower, 'non-union' wages, as has been erroneously reported."
"Given that New Era will continue to adhere to all aspects of our contract, is making a strategic shift in its operating model based on the company's assessment of its industry and has already signed an agreement with the union, MLB is not in a position to change the outcome of this circumstance," MLB said in a statement. "We recognize these challenging set of circumstances for those affected."
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