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By Ferdie de la Torre

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Dec. 14) - As of yesterday there were still 21 garment factories on Saipan, according to Department of Labor Secretary Gil M. San Nicolas.

[PIR editor’s note: Eleven garment factories have shut down since 2002.]

San Nicolas said that, aside from Concorde Garment Manufacturing Inc. that closed down Tuesday night, he has no information yet whether other factories are also shutting down.

"At this moment I'm not aware," the Labor secretary told Saipan Tribune.

San Nicolas said that, based on their records the garment factories that are still operating are American Pacific Textile, Commonwealth Garment Manufacturing Inc., Grace International Inc., Hansae (Saipan) Manufacturing Inc., Jin Apparel Inc., Kyeung Seung Saipan Inc., L&S Apparel Corp., Sam Kwang, Marianas Garment Inc., Michigan Inc., and Neo Fashion Inc.

The other open factories are Rifu Apparel Corp., Mirage (Saipan) Inc., Onwell Manufacturing (Saipan) Ltd., Poong in Saipan Inc., Sam Marianas Inc., Top Fashion Corp., U.S. CNMI Development Corp., United International Corp., UNO Moda Corp., and Winners Corp.

According to Labor, Kyeung Seung Saipan Inc. is formerly La Mode, L&S Apparel Corp. is formerly Sako, Sam Kwang is formerly Joo Ang Apparel, and Poong In Saipan Inc. is formerly Marianas Fashion.

Mergers between companies also occurred. In 2002 and 2003 Pang Jin Sang Sa Corp. merged with Winners Corp., while Lin Hsai-Ling (Net Apparel) merged with United International Corp.

In 2004, Trans America merged with Top Fashion Corp., while Global Manufacturing Inc. and Trans Asia Garment Manufacturing merged with Concorde.

Labor said that from 2002 to 2006, 11 factories closed down.

They were Advanced Textile Corp., Diorva Saipan Ltd., Eurotex (Saipan) Inc., Express Manufacturing, Hyunjin Saipan Inc., La Mode Inc., Mariana Fashion Inc., Neo Fashion Inc. (old), Net Manufacturing, Sako Corp., and Handsome Textile Saipan Corp.

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