1980s and 1990s, the hosiery industry experienced major issues. Increasing foreign competition as well as imports created downward pressure on the profitability of Canadian hosiery manufacturers (Trefler, 2001, p. 62). Several hosiery manufacturers tried to reverse this by extensively engaging in intensive capital investments in new technologies. While no figures on SGA were available similar companies such as KDH in the U.S. experienced similar technology issues (Nichol, 2004, p. 10). In addition, they reorganized their company structures, downsized plants and also instituted to improved employee productivity and efficiency programs. SGA was no exception to this trend with international sales falling from $26 million to $10 million CND. This plus increasing imports and weak consumer sales forced SGA to lay off 1,500 employees, reduce wage rates and to rescind many of the benefits that the workers had enjoyed previously under Anderson families ownership. Many of these changes drew worker protests and created a good deal of tension between workers and management.
2. The company launched a very sophisticated strategy developed by a law firm specializing in anti-union campaigns, SGA responded very quickly to every issue that the union raised in its counter campaign. SGA's strategy to defeat the union's organizing efforts consisted of exhaustive meetings with the community, business, and religious leaders in the town to influence the workers' opinions towards the union.
SGA sent letters to the workers' homes which emphasized the mutual need for team spirit to maintain the nonunion regime, but also to overcome the overseas threat to SGA's existence that created by the imports of foreign-made hosiery. SGA emphasized that its campaign was going to remain out in the open and legal, but that they had to remain competitive. In this way, they could maintain the status quo and continue things as they were in the old days under the Anderson family when relations were amicable, things were good and team spirit conquered all.
The top management of the company made repeated visits to the plant to shake hands and listen to workers' concerns. Much of this was similar to a political campaign by politicians. The…