8:35am

Tue September 10, 2013
Jobs

Niagara Ceramics closing its doors, leaving 110 jobless

The remnants of the old Buffalo China company will be shutting down. Niagara Ceramics filed a closing notice with the state Labor Department Monday, citing "economic" reasons.

The closing means 110 people will be out of a job at the factory at 75 Hayes Place in Buffalo.

Buffalo China shut down in March 2004 and Niagara Ceramics was created to continue manufacture of commercial-quality dinnerware, one of two such companies in the country.

Niagara Ceramics was formed by investments of its current president, Robert Lupica, and businessman, now congressman, Chris Collins, nine years ago. Tax incentives and bank financing also were used for the $5.5 million purchase price for the facility from Buffalo China's former owner, Oneida Limited.

Buffalo China had some 325 employees at the time of its closing and sale, and Niagara Ceramics hired 240 workers to begin its operations of making commercial-quality dinnerware. That had dwindled to the current 110 employee level.

Collins issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

“I am sorry to hear of the closure of Niagara Ceramics, something I learned about today for the first time from the media.  I transferred my ownership interest in Niagara Ceramics in 2012, at no cost, to the management team in an effort to give them the best chance possible at future success. I have had no involvement in the company since that point.  Prior to 2012, I had not been involved in day to day management of the company since 2007. 

Niagara Ceramics consistently struggled because of unfair competition from Chinese manufactures who benefit from China manipulating its currency at the expense of American jobs.  As a Member of Congress, I believe strongly that the U.S. must take a harder stand against this unfair practice by the Chinese government.”

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