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U. S. Stamp to Close; 80 to Be Out of Work


U. S. Stamp, an Oxnard firm that produces rubber stamps for business customers, will close its doors May 16, putting 80 employees out of work.

The company's parent, Porelon Inc. of Cookeville, Tenn., has decided to concentrate production in its two other plants, Cookeville and Houston, said Lee Eisenstaedt, Porelon's director of business development.

"Mainly, it's an efficiency move," he said. "But the cost of doing business in California, such as workers' compensation, also figured in the decision."

Eisenstaedt said Porelon lost more than $1 million last year, but that demand for its stamps is strong. Many of the stamps, which are used for endorsing checks, routing memos and similar purposes, are sold through the Office Depot retail chain, he said.

Employees at the Trabajo Drive facility will be offered severance pay equal to at least one month of salary, Eisenstaedt said. "Unfortunately, we're not able to offer to transfer any of them to our other locations."

U. S. Stamp, founded in the mid-1980s, was acquired by Porelon in 1990. Porelon is a subsidiary of Johnson Worldwide Associates Inc. of Racine, Wis. Johnson, which specializes in the production of tents, canoes and other recreational products, has annual sales of about $250 million.

Eisenstaedt has moved to Oxnard from Tennessee to supervise the closure. "Employee morale is as good as could be expected," he said. "Rumors about this have been circulating for some time, so the announcement didn't come as a complete surprise."

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