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Wedgwood fears more cuts

Waterford Wedgwood is still wary about a shortage in demand for its products. If business does not pick up as anticipated in the crucial pre-Christmas months, the company famed for its high quality cr…

Waterford Wedgwood is still wary about a shortage in demand for its products. If business does not pick up as anticipated in the crucial pre-Christmas months, the company famed for its high quality crystal and china has not ruled out a further cut in working hours at its crystal plants in Waterford city and Dungarvan. A total of 1,400 production staff at the two factories had to take three weeks unpaid leave late 2001 as the impact of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the US and the global economic slowdown took their toll on demand for its luxury and giftware products. Waterford Wedgwood chief executive Redmond O“Donoghue said he hoped the company would not have to take similar action this year – but warned that it could happen if necessary. “If demand comes through as we see it now, we think we can get through without any further downtime this year,” he said. “But if the decision has to be taken to match our production costs and inventory more closely with demand patterns, it will be taken. It would be tough on our employees if that scenario unfolded but they understand the business reasons for it.

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