Buffalo, N.Y. - It has become perhaps the most contentious issue in the close race for the 27th congressional district seat between Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins.
The Hochul campaign has aired a number of ads that claim that Collins bought the old Buffalo China company and then laid off more than 100 workers, about a third of its workforce.
2 On Your Side has put Hochul's claims to the Truth Test and found them false.
In a new ad, Hochul has a former Buffalo China employee, Tom Boyle, make the same claims against Collins.
You could call Boyle the "Joe The Plumber" of the Hochul-Collins campaign.
It's important to note that Boyle had left Buffalo China as a result of an injury about six months before the plant was shut down in March of 2004.
Scott Brown: "Buffalo China in late 2003 announced publicly that they were going to close the plant do you remember that?"
Tom Boyle: "No, I was not at work during the course of that time, and when I went back to work it was after the transition (to Niagara Ceramics) and I was not there for that, no."
Scott Brown: "Buffalo China said they couldn't make a go of it, they were closing the plant, what do you think Collins and the management team (that came in) should have done differently?"
Tom Boyle: "Well first they didn't have to walk in and break the union, cut their pay, make them pay for their benefits, how do you expect people to get by, that's a start."
Scott Brown: "But clearly Buffalo China couldn't make a go of it the way things were. They were going to close the plant and then nobody would have had a job."
Tom Boyle: "I don't believe that's true, I don't have the answer for that."
In March of 2004, Oneida Company closed Buffalo China and sold its equipment and the building to a number of senior managers of the company who had teamed with Collins to buy the assets.
Bob Lupica, who's now president of that company, Niagara Ceramics, was part of that deal.
Scott Brown: "If Chris Collins and his group not bought the company, would it have been shut down forever?"
Bob Lupica, Niagara Ceramics: "Yes, had Chris not stepped in to support the management team, partnering up with us to buy the assets of the old company, Oneida's plan was to close and shutter the building and sell off the equipment."
Scott Brown: "As to this whole notion from the Hochul campaign that Collins came in and laid off 100 or so workers?"
Bob Lupica, Niagara Ceramics: "I can honestly and truthfully tell you that if it wasn't for Chris, we wouldn't have the workers that we have today. And I can tell you that Chris never laid off any of those workers, those workers were laid off by Buffalo China and Oneida Limited."