Pfaltzgraff plant to close unless bought

YORK, Pa. (AP) -- About 250 employees of the Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff plant in Thomasville have been told that the plant will close Oct. 28 unless a buyer is found.
Employees were given 60-day notices Friday afternoon, and company officials said they filed notice about the layoffs with the state Department of Labor and Industry. The agency has not yet received the letter, spokesman Christopher Manlove said.
Pfaltzgraff is trying to sell the plant as a pottery-making facility, said John L. Finlayson, the company's finance and administration vice president and chief financial officer. Representatives of at least two pottery manufacturers have toured the plant, Finlayson said.
The company chose an October closure date because that's when the plant will complete an order for the Westbury, N.Y.-based Lifetime Brands, which recently purchased Pfaltzgraff's intellectual property and retail stores.
Lifetime Brands, which designs and distributes kitchenware brands such as Hoffritz, Tristar and Gemco, said it did not buy the plant because it is not in the manufacturing business.
Lifetime Brands said it will lease and operate Pfaltzgraff's two distribution centers near York. Company officials said Pfaltzgraff's design, retail store management, Internet and catalog sales, and call center operations will continue in the city.
Workers said Friday's announcement had been expected since Lifetime Brands disclosed in June that it was not buying the plant.

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