Waterford: remaining workers get their notice

The last remaining 170 sales, administrative and other staff who have been working at the former crystal manufacturing facility of Waterford in Kilbarry, Waterford, since US investor KPS Capital took …

The last remaining 170 sales, administrative and other staff who have been working at the former crystal manufacturing facility of Waterford in Kilbarry, Waterford, since US investor KPS Capital took over the Waterford Wedgwood group in March, have been served with 30 days“ notice and will lose their jobs. The workers had been kept on as part of a six-month transitional arrangement agreed when KPS took over the majority of the group“s assets in March 2009. The banks placed its parent, Waterford Wedgwood, in receivership early in January, when the Irish company employed 408 staff in Waterford. The 170 workers were kept on to handle sales, administration and manage the factory“s visitor centre. A spokesman for Unite, the trade union that represents the workers, confirmed that the workers had been given their notice, adding that it was a sad day for the area and for Ireland, as it means that it is unlikely that crystal manufacturing will start up again. US KPS intends to continue manufacturing Waterford Crystal through licensed sub-contractors, mainly in eastern European countries where labour and other costs are lower and where much of the machinery was sent after the turning off of the furnace. A consortium is planning to set up a small manufacturing plant in Waterford in 2010 to produce crystal.