Monforte de Lemos went from 1.200 employees in the footwear industry to only 41 available today.
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The returnees of Cuba founded the first companies. The guild of shoes is 108 years old, when the first factories began to operate. After the disaster of the war of Cuba, emigrants and fighters on the Caribbean island returned to Monforte. Among them were the first industrialists who began to make footwear in series. This is the case of José López Rodríguez, founder of Losal and whose company is currently his great-grandson, which makes it the oldest in the city.
By the middle of the 20th century there were 22 factories and today only two are open.
The city of Cabe had, in the middle of the 20th century, a thriving shoe sector. 70 years ago, according to the newspaper library of the time, there were a total of 22 factories dedicated to making boots and shoes, but also 6 of traditional clog shoes, as many of cuts and stitches and 2 factories dedicated to tannery. In total, the number of jobs generated by this industrial activity, which was added by companies dedicated to the manufacture of tips and glues, was around 1,200. Today there are only 41.
The footwear left Monforte de Lemos with destination to all Spain to be recognized for its quality and durability, but the sector began to go less because many companies did not know to adapt to the new times, to what the market demanded.
Middle Ages. The scholar of the history of Monforte Felipe Aira points out that already in the Middle Ages there was a vigorous activity shoemaker in the city.
The result was that at the beginning of the 90´s, in Monforte only a dozen signatures worked, which were proposed, from the Xunta de Galicia, to join an investee company, an idea that did not fit.
At present, only two firms in the city are active, with a total of 41 employees.
One is Calzados Losal, with 17 workers, dedicated to the production of fashion footwear, handmade and with the technique of “Goodyear” sewing, own by Monforte. The other company is Curtidos Galaicos, with 24 employees and those years ago they decided to specialize in safety footwear.
The leaders of both companies, Gonzalo López Otero and Ovidio Pérez Reñones, respectively, do not hesitate to point out, as guilty of the dismantling of the sector, both the lack of modernization of the factories and the absence of a generational change.
Both of these issues have been taken up by these two factories, where the children of those responsible are already working and in which a gap has been made to new technologies.
Link | El Progreso