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World Kitchen lays off 63 employees

May 02, 2001

World Kitchen lays off 63 employees



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


World Kitchen Inc. has announced it is laying off 63 employees, the latest in a string of Franklin County businesses to scale back their work forces.

Most of the hourly employees volunteered for the layoffs, said Dave Lanzillo, director of corporate communications at World Kitchen's New York headquarters. He said he doesn't expect the layoffs to be permanent.

"This is part of our normal business operations and the business cycle," he said. "This tends to be a slower part of the year."

World Kitchen, 1200 S. Antrim Way, notified employees Friday that the company would begin layoffs at the distribution center for Corning, Corelle and Pyrex. World Kitchen offered workers the opportunity to volunteer to be laid off, and Lanzillo said the majority did.

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In early April, the company announced it would close the former Corning Glass Co. manufacturing plant in Berkeley County, W.Va., affecting 350 workers. As part of restructuring, World Kitchen will also close its Waynesboro, Va., distribution center next year.

The layoffs Friday "will keep the Greencastle distribution facility running as smoothly as possible and matching the operations of that facility with anticipated customer orders," Lanzillo said.

L. Michael Ross, executive director of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, said the announcement from World Kitchen, which has operated in Greencastle since the 1960s, was something of a surprise.

"They are one of the most stable and high-end employers in Franklin County, so any kind of downsizing or realignment is a concern," Ross said.

But Ross he said he doesn't think the layoffs are an indication of future downsizing.

"I believe they are responding to market conditions and conditions at World Kitchen," Ross said.

World Kitchen employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, the United Kingdom, South America and Asia.

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