I t's the last time Syracuse China union members are meeting at the V.F.W. lodge in Syracuse. The plant will close Thursday, signaling the end of an era in our city. Tim Laux would be celebrating his 20th year with Syracuse China on May 1st, instead, he's one of more than 230 people out work. Laux says, "Everybody's reaction has been different. Some are in denial, others are getting ready. Everybody is dealing with it in their own way."
L ibby, the parent company of Syracuse China, is closing the plant and moving the manufacturing portion of the dinnerware to, ironically, the country of China. While the new plates will prominently display the name Syracuse, it won't be made here, and that leaves workers with a sour taste. Laux says, "They're going to try and fool the world into saying, 'Oh, this is Syracuse China.' But if it doesn't say 'USA' on the back of it, don't buy it folks. Because it's wrong. It's corporate greed at its finest, and its ripping the heart out of this town."
U nion rep resentatives are doing their best to accommodate workers, and say efforts seeking help from lawmakers aren't getting the results they're hoping for. Rep. Kim McNeil says, "We've contacted them all, and quite frankly received little to no response whatsoever, telling us that Albany doesn't care whatsoever about the job loss."
L aux says he does have options . H e'll consider going back to school in the fall under the Federal Government's Trade Adjustment Act Program.