Oneida Ltd. has decided to close five factory sites because of substantial negative manufacturing variances. The affected locations include the Buffalo China dinnerware factory and decorating facility in Buffalo, N.Y.; a dinnerware factory in Juarez, Mexico; a flatware factory in Toluca, Mexico; a holloware factory in Shanghai, China; and a holloware factory in Vercelli, Italy. Anticipated savings from the closings will be approximately $12 million annually. Oneida will incur a total charge of approximately $46 million in association with the closings. The company will continue to market the affected products from those sites, using independent suppliers. The factory closings are expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of Oneida's current fiscal year. No final decisions have been made at this time regarding the proposed closure of the Buffalo China warehouse in Buffalo, N.Y., and negotiations are continuing. "After reviewing our options at each of these locations over the past several weeks, we determined they must be closed in order for our company to operate in a profitable and cost-efficient fashion over the long term," said Peter J. Kallet, Oneida chairman and chief executive officer. "This was an extremely difficult action to approve. These sites have been a vital part of our company, and we recognize the ramifications of this decision for all of the affected employees. We understand the hardships and uncertainties that they will face."
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