Waterford meets unions

Waterford Wedgwood was expected to meet trade unions at its crystal division at the end of September following disappointing interim results and amid fears of rising inventory levels following the US …

Waterford Wedgwood was expected to meet trade unions at its crystal division at the end of September following disappointing interim results and amid fears of rising inventory levels following the US terrorist attacks. The Irish luxury goods group last week reported a 10% fall in interim profits, with analysts“ predicting it could be badly hit by the economic fall-out from the attacks in its main market. At the results presentation, Redmond O“Donoghue, president of Waterford Wedgwood, warned against “knee-jerk reactions” by investors to the attacks. However, O“Donoghue had indicated that the group was ready to take “appropriate action to protect ongoing profitability”. Trade unions speculated the group could be considering changes to working arrangements. Waterford Wedgwood employs more than 1,600 people in Waterford and Dungarvan. Some of the output is manufactured under licence by factories in central Europe. Industry officials say the the group is considering “repatriating” some of the manufacturing it does in central Europe to limit the number of job losses that might be necessary at its Irish factories if there is a slowdown in demand.