The last porcelain factory in Lower Silesia in bankruptcy

Luc Williams

The history of porcelain factories in Jaworzyna Śląska dates back to 1860. Then, master bricklayer August Rappsilber founded the Porzellanfabrik Königszelt factory here. After World War II, the factory was nationalized; in 1954 the plant was named “Karolina”. Today, it is the last of the porcelain factories in Lower Silesia – a region where this industry once developed dynamically. Last year, the Krzysztof Porcelain Plant, which had operated for over 200 years in Wałbrzych, 20 kilometers away from Jaworzyna Śl., was put into liquidation.

The court opened bankruptcy proceedings

On Monday, the District Court in Wałbrzych announced the bankruptcy of Zakłady Porcelain Stołowej “Karolina” and opened bankruptcy proceedings – the spokeswoman of the District Court in Świdnica, Judge Magdalena Mroczkowska, told PAP on Tuesday.

Ireneusz Besser, chairman of NSZZ Solidarność in the Jaworzyń plant, recalled in an interview with PAP that at the beginning of 2022, the plant was taken over by HM Investment, the owner of the Gerlach brand. “In our opinion, the takeover of the plants by a new owner led to the deterioration of the company’s situation and, consequently, to its bankruptcy,” Besser told PAP.

According to the chairman of the company’s “Solidarity”, at the beginning of 2022, “Karolina” “was not that indebted”. “It was several million due debts to be repaid, among others. the Tax Office, ZUS and fees for gas bills,” said the trade unionist. He emphasized that when the plant was taken over by the new owner, almost 480 people worked there.

The new owner “first got rid of the senior and middle management staff”

Besser pointed out that the new owner “first got rid of the senior and middle-level staff” and gradually reduced employment. “They didn’t want to talk to us about the investment plan and how to fix this situation,” described the trade unionist, adding that today the plants are talking about the debt of several dozen million.

At the beginning of February, the company’s management informed trade unionists about group layoffs, which were to affect 180 people. “So many people are employed in ‘Karolina’ today under employment contracts,” said Besser.

He noted that trade unionists still hope that they will be able to “save the plant”. “There are halls, there are machines, there is a new gas boiler room; I think there are still orders, there are still some unfinished products. We believe that the last porcelain and white gold factories in Lower Silesia will be able to be maintained – even in the form of a factory,” said the chairman, declaring the union’s cooperation with the trustee.

By the time the message was sent, PAP was unable to contact the representatives of the plant owner.

author: Piotr Doczekalski


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