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Published: Tuesday, 3/30/2004

Half of workers to be laid off at Tiffin factory

TIFFIN - American Standard Cos. Inc. will lay off 210 employees, or more than half of the remaining workforce, at a plant here that produces toilet tanks and other plumbing fixtures.

Plant officials delivered the news yesterday to representatives of Local 7A of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union. Union officials couldn't be reached for comment.

The move will leave the plant, which was once one of the nation's largest producers of ceramic toilets, with fewer than 200 workers. The layoffs are scheduled for early June.

"We're streamlining the product mix at this plant to make it more productive and cost-competitive," said company spokesman Lisa Glover. The factory will reduce the number of products it makes to concentrate on a smaller number of high-volume, less complex plumbing fixtures and components, she explained.

She was unable to say to where departing products will be shifted among the firm's 35 ceramic fixture plants in North America, South America, and Asia. Few of the factories are in the United States.

The company has no plans to close the Tiffin operation, its spokesman added.

The layoff will involve 200 production and 12 salaried positions, Ms. Glover said. The workforce now stands at 395.

The factory employed 665 hourly and salaried workers until last July when job cuts reduced employment to its current level, the spokesman added.

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