Fiesta Tableware Closing East Liverpool Plant, Affecting 80 Jobs

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – Fiesta Tableware Co. will permanently close its factory in East Liverpool, the company announced Friday, with operations consolidated to its plant in Newell, W.Va.

The closure affects 59 active employees, who will be laid off beginning Feb. 11, and 21 employees who have already been laid off. The latter will be considered permanently laid off effective the same date.

In a statement issued Friday, Fiesta Tableware said jobs would soon be available at the company’s main production in Newell, across the Ohio River from East Liverpool. Employees are being encouraged to apply for the positions, some of which may be filled immediately.

The statement said a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice had been filed, but as of 3:20 p.m. Friday, no documents had been posted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ WARN webpage.

“The prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business has caused us to make some difficult staffing and operational decisions,” said President and CEO Liz McIlvain in the statement. “This physical consolidation will enable our manufacturing process to function more quickly and efficiently providing all the same iconic product lines. We’ll be able to increase our production rates and provide a faster turnaround, which is crucial in today’s demanding consumer landscape.”

Fiesta Tableware’s factory in East Liverpool, at 1 Anna Street, has been in use since 1903. 

On March 28, Hall China parent company Homer Laughlin China Co. announced the sale of their food service division and brand name to New Castle, Pa.,-based Steelite International.

Hall China, including the Fiestaware brand, manufacturing operations and headquarters in East Liverpool, was not sold and rebranded as Fiesta Tableware.

Just over a month later, on April 30, the company filed a WARN Act notice with the state and city of East Liverpool saying it was laying off 40 workers. Human resources officer Ralph Smith wrote in the filing that “our business was struggling to survive,” but on May 7 told The Business Journal that Fiesta anticipated recalling the employees within a week.

In the statement issued Dec. 11, McIlvain said Fiesta will “continue to honor the legacy through the knowledge and craftsmanship that has been passed along to The Fiesta Tableware Company through the consolidation of the plants locally and continued operations in the tri-state area.”

Pictured: The Hall China Co. visitor entrance. Image: Dustin M. Ramsey / Attribution

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