2008-09-24 / Local & State

Lighter Maker Zippo Lays Off 80 Employees

BRADFORD, Pa. (AP) - Zippo Manufacturing Co. has laid off 80 employees, citing improved efficiencies and operating capabilities.

The Bradford-based company already had laid off 35 workers in June, citing a decline in business. Together, the two sets of layoffs mean Zippo has cut its work force 14 percent this year, leaving it with just under 700 employees.

Zippo says its business has been affected by the anti-smoking movement, Transportation Safety Administration regulations that restrict lighters in luggage, and counterfeits.

For years, Zippo was McKean County's largest employer, but last year it was passed by a hospital.

The company was promised $1.3 million in state funds to market a new butane lighter in 2005 that it said would create 105 new jobs. Instead, Zippo has cut more than that many jobs this year.

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