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Waterford talks with union

Management at Waterford Crystal is to consider counter-proposals put to it by union representatives concerning its plan to introduce short-time working.
Most of the 1,600 staff at the company“s Wate…

Management at Waterford Crystal is to consider counter-proposals put to it by union representatives concerning its plan to introduce short-time working. Most of the 1,600 staff at the company“s Waterford city and Dungarvan plants are to be placed on a three-day week for the rest of the year in response to a sharp drop in demand for its products. A complete shut down of the factories was also planned for a week from 15 October, a week later than initially proposed. The proposed cutbacks have angered staff at the plants, but it is understood the response has not been one of outright rejection. Walter Cullen, regional industrial organiser with the ATGWU – which represents over 1,400 of the staff – said the union had put “proposals in response to their proposals” to management. It is understood the union is prepared to accept the week-long closure of the firm but will not accept short-time working unless management is prepared to negotiate on redundancies and early retirement. It is also understood management would consider alternative measures as long as they brought supply into line with reduced demand. Cullen said the reaction of workers who attended general meetings at the two plants to the company“s proposals was “fairly strong”. “They are very angry at being put in this position… They are aware that last year the company made record profits, which were a substantial increase on what it made for a number of years prior to that.” The company“s chief executive, John Foley, said a reduction in manufacturing would have been necessary, regardless of the impact of the attacks of 11 September. “We don“t know what the future is in the context of that.”

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