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Tondisco Inc., a North Tonawanda beer distributor, will close operations as early as next week, putting 50 employees out of work, according to union representatives and city officials.

The owners of the company, located at 80 Thompson Road, have reportedly been negotiating with other area distributors for the sale of their licenses to distribute popular brands of beer such as Labatt's and Miller.

"It's 99.9 percent done," said Ed McDonald, a business representative for Teamsters Local 264, which represents the company's truck drivers.

McDonald said Edward Zuchowski, a co-owner of Tondisco, called off a meeting with employees that the company had set for this morning. The union official had expected the sale would be confirmed then.

Zuchowski postponed the meeting until sometime next week, according to McDonald, who added that Tondisco managers have told the union the company's shutdown has not been finalized.

"I think the plan is to tell them the last day that they're going out of business," said McDonald.

Reports about the company's imminent closing have reached City Hall in the Niagara County municipality, though officials there said company representatives have not provided confirmation.

"It's my understanding that the place is closing down," said City Attorney Jeffrey Mis, though he was unsure when the shut down would occur.

Company officer Robert Bahr did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment, and Zuchowski was unavailable for comment.

Tondisco, the exclusive Niagara County distributor for several large breweries including Labatt's Inc., was not losing money, according to McDonald, the union official.

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