On Monday, the District Court in Wałbrzych announced the bankruptcy of Zakłady Porcelany Stołowej “Karolina” and opened bankruptcy proceedings – said the spokeswoman of the District Court in Świdnica, Judge Magdalena Mroczkowska. “Karolina” is the last porcelain factory in Lower Silesia, where this industry once operated dynamically.
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”. This 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 Śląska, went into liquidation.
The “Karolina” Porcelain Tableware Factory goes bankrupt
Chairman NSZZ Solidarność at the Jaworzyn plants, Ireneusz Besser recalled that at the beginning of 2022, the plants were taken over by HM Investment, which owns 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 – said Besser.
According to the chairman of the company’s “Solidarity”, at the beginning of 2022, “Karolina” “was not that indebted”. – These were several million due debts to be repaid, among others. Tax Office, ZUS and gas bill payments – said the trade unionist. He emphasized that when the plant was taken over by the new owner, almost 480 people worked there.
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 company’s debt amounts to several dozen million.
What about “Karolina” employees?
At the beginning of February, the company’s management informed trade unionists about group layoffs, which were to affect 180 people. – This is how many people are employed at “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.
Even before the court announced the bankruptcy of “Karolina”, we contacted one of the plant’s employees. – No discussions were held with us from the management. A group layoff of all employees has been planned, but we do not know when it will happen – she said in an interview with the business editorial team of tvn24.pl. – We suspect that the plant will be closed – she added.
We have sent questions regarding this matter to the owner of Zakład Porcelain Stołowej “Karolina”. By the time the article was published, we had not received a response.