Tunstall based Churchill China have announced jobs are to go after a slump in sales created by the pandemic.
The GMB Union says that 250 members of staff are at risk of losing their job, but Churchill only say in a statement provided to Signal News that a "number" are at risk.
The GMB has called the news a "hammer blow" for the Potteries, but concede that there has been a massive drop in demand across the ceramic industry as hospitality order falls dramatically - "leading to a grim outlook for the order books until at least the end of 2021".
Wendy Grieveson, GMB Organiser said: “Coronavirus has rocked the pottery industry. Just last year we lost Dudson alongside job losses at Wedgewood.
“The Government needs to step in to save our potteries before it’s too late.
"The whole industry is the heart of our city and it’s who we are.
“GMB will keep fighting every day to mitigate job losses and support our members throughout the crisis and beyond.”
A spokesperson for Churchill China provided us with the following statement:
"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.
"COVID-19 has had a major impact on our principal markets in the hospitality sector (pubs, bar, restaurants, hotels and leisure) both in the UK and overseas.
"This sector will be one of the last to reopen under lockdown exit plans and is forecast to remain at substantially lower levels well into next year.
"As such it is important to the long term health of our business that we align our activities with future demand levels from our customers.
"As a business we will do all that we can to mitigate loss of employment, however we find ourselves in unprecedented times and as such we have had to take action to safeguard the future of the majority of our workforce.
"We will do our utmost to support all our employees through this difficult time."