Waterford workers occupy plant

Waterford workers occupy plant

By Press Association reporters
Saturday, 31 January 2009

A crisis meeting on the future of Waterford Crystal takes place in Dublin today as 100 angry workers continue to occupy the plant.

The firm’s receiver David Carson said that 480 of the 670 employees at the famous crystal maker in Kilbarry outside Waterford city have been made redundant.

The Unite union, which represents the workers, will today meet Mr Carson along with local TD and Government Minister Martin Cullen and the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach, Dermot McCarthy.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) general secretary David Begg will also be present at the meeting, which will discuss bids for Waterford Crystal from potential investors.

Receiver Mr Carson has been negotiating with two US-based groups in recent weeks in a bid to save parts of the business.

He said: "The decision to cease manufacturing does not necessarily preclude a resumption of operations in Waterford in the future.

"The receiver is continuing negotiations with interested parties with a view to a sale of the company’s assets and those discussions are focused on agreeing the terms upon which a transaction could be completed."

Former Waterford Crystal chief executive, John Foley is part of a US consortium that hopes to make a new bid for the company.

Employees stormed the visitors’ centre at the premises yesterday after they learned the receiver had decided to lay off more than half of the workforce.

About 100 workers later staged a sit-in at the plant and were supplied with food parcels and blankets by the local community.

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