More than 200 jobs are at risk at a pottery manufacture in Stoke-on-Trent after orders plummet due to coronavirus pandemic.
Churchill China, which employs around 700 workers, has begun a consultation process.
It is understood letters were sent out to the 500 affected employees last week.
Bosses of the pottery maker, insisted the redundancies are needed to safeguard the 'long-term health of the business'.
It's after manufacturing was temporarily suspended in March with a large proportion of the workforce placed on furlough.
The lockdown measures have had a 'major impact' on the Churchill China's principal markets in the hospitality sector in both the UK and overseas.
The sector will be one of the last to reopen under current government plans.
It is with great regret that we announce that we have recently begun a consultation process with a number of our employees and their representatives on potential redundancies within our business.
The GMB Union said it will 'keep fighting' to support our members throughout the crisis.
Coronavirus has rocked the pottery industry. Just last year we lost Dudson alongside job losses at Wedgewood.