New Events


no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds



offsite link The Wholesome Photo of the Month Thu May 09, 2024 11:01 | Anti-Empire

offsite link In 3 War Years Russia Will Have Spent $3... Thu May 09, 2024 02:17 | Anti-Empire

offsite link UK Sending Missiles to Be Fired Into Rus... Tue May 07, 2024 14:17 | Marko Marjanović

offsite link US Gives Weapons to Taiwan for Free, The... Fri May 03, 2024 03:55 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Russia Has 17 Percent More Defense Jobs ... Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:56 | Marko Marjanović

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Alternative Copy of site is available Thu May 25, 2023 14:38 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
Alternative site: Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

offsite link The Saker blog is now frozen Tue Feb 28, 2023 23:55 | The Saker
Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2023/02/27 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 27, 2023 19:00 | cafe-uploader
2023/02/27 19:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The stage is set for Hybrid World War III Mon Feb 27, 2023 15:50 | The Saker
Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you?re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTEs Sarah McInerney ? Fianna Fail supporter? Anthony

offsite link Joe Duffy is dishonest and untrustworthy Anthony

offsite link Robert Watt complaint: Time for decision by SIPO Anthony

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Voltaire, International Newsletter N°92 Fri Jun 21, 2024 14:51 | en

offsite link Western domination of the rest of the world is now over Fri Jun 21, 2024 14:42 | en

offsite link France facing the change of era, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jun 18, 2024 06:59 | en

offsite link After Ukraine, Serbia? Fri Jun 14, 2024 14:07 | en

offsite link Voltaire, International Newsletter N°91 Fri Jun 14, 2024 13:06 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Waterford Occupation: A Snapshot Of A 'Tiny Ugly World' / Interview with Joe Kelly (UNITE)

category waterford | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Tuesday February 03, 2009 02:20author by Cork WSM Box & Fotos / Article -by Various Report this post to the editors

featured image
'Canteen Culture'
A 'tiny ugly world' of greed, speculation, rampant insecurity and the 'disciplining' of workers unites those who occupied 'Republic Windows and Doors' in Chicago and the workers now occupying Waterford 'Crystal'.

Who held the gun to the head of the workers in Waterford? Whose actions called up the 'Starry Plough' ? Was it those of the 'Receiver'? He's the demon bad guy in the news reports. Probably because his surname suited the job!

What about O'Reilly ? An international capitalist widely famed for his obscene wealth. He seems like a candidate. Hiding behind the 'Receiver', shafting the workers whose lives he was willing to take a punt on, happy for the acclaim that came with a national brand. The editor of the Indo during the Lockout , way back when the 'Starry Plough' was a living symbol, most certainly deserved his depiction as an iron-heeled capitalist boot-boy.

And what about Bank of America? They got greedy - swallowed Merrill Lynch. Begged for and got massive bailouts from US taxpayers as a result. Withdrew the lines of credit to longstanding industries at the whiff of trouble and destroyed lives and security for working people without a blink and away from the limelight the 'Receiver' now flinches under. Then they planned openly to destroy some more workers rights.

The 'crisis'? An all purpose boogieman. Make everyone so insecure that they'll lie down and happily accept anything short of a disastrous collapse in living standards and security. That's the program in Germany where there is also a Waterford Crystal subsidiary, in the US where events surrounding Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago are but one example of a generalised 'disciplining' of workers, it's the program in France which was shut down by a general strike last week, it's the program in the UK where EU workers are being set at each others throats and it's most definitely the program here. Pretty much the same everywhere. The bet is that people will trample over each other in desperation for 'opportunity' rather than stand together and refuse this 'discipline'.

Neo-liberal Europe is a busted flush. The workers in Waterford have begun something new by turning the tables. If they don't get their pensions and compensation, if they don't get re-employed, they should get the factory with the furnace still burning and the name 'Waterford Glass' still intact. Oh and support from the State.

The State? This is a state which is about to hand over the keys to the safe to those who turned people by the thousands coldly into slaves to debt here in the past number of years by wilfully inflating a property bubble and gambling with their proceeds from the wholesale looting of a generation. Before they pay their friends they should pay those who kept the thing afloat. They're bailing out 'supermen' who slipped right, left and centre and will probably go to court not to pay compensation to shafted workers who their 'friends' are shafting.

Who's advising them? Oh yeah. People from Merrill Lynch who blew their own operation through greed and got taken over by the too greedy 'too big to fail' Bank of America. Remember them? That's right - they withdrew their line of credit from Chicago Windows and Doors and from Waterford, longstanding businesses both, because of a glitch in the money machine - in 'their' money machine. Tiny Ugly World indeed.

We won't pay for their crisis! Better to bust the house!

Canteen Board 1
Canteen Board 1

Canteen Board 2
Canteen Board 2

Canteen Board 3
Canteen Board 3

Canteen Board 4
Canteen Board 4

MP3 of Interview with Joe Kelly - 10 minutes
audio MP3 of Interview with Joe Kelly - 10 minutes 6.77 Mb

author by Cork WSMpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some more photos from inside the occupation.



Leaflet for Wednesday's March
Leaflet for Wednesday's March


Rosters to organise all of the aspects of running the occupation
Rosters to organise all of the aspects of running the occupation

author by Cork WSMpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 21:38author email cork at wsm dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Waterford Glass workers have taken a stand. At a time when 'talks' and more 'talks' are leading to huge concessions for us workers - be that in the private sector or in the public sector - they have said enough! On Friday, very publically and with determination, the reacted to the threats and lies of the receiver appointed by Waterford Wedgewood, and seized the plant and offices at Kilbarry in Waterford city. The Workers Solidarity Movement salutes their stand and offers then full solidarity and support.

In the last while there has been an unprecedented assault on our living standards. Huge numbers of us have been put out of jobs or put on short time; we have been told bluntly 'Take a pay cut or your job is gone'. Our union leadership has reacted to this with offers of talks and with appeals for calm. While doing this they have leaned over backwards to meet the demands of the bosses and the Government. Against this scenario, the Waterford Glass workers have said NO MORE. The time for talking with your hands tied behind your back are over! Workers did not create this crisis and they sure aren't going to pay the huge price that is being asked to solve it!

The WSM is mindful of the reality that the Waterford Glass workers in Kilbarry are in very difficult situation. Their jobs are on the line and a blatant attempt has been made to rob them of not just of these jobs but also of any outstanding monies that are due to them. It is very clear also that the future for huge numbers of workers and their families are on the line here. This is an example of where solidarity can count and can make all the difference. It is crucial now that we build and show as much support as we can for the action of these workers. It is also vital that rank and file workers mobilise to help extend this action. We urge the following as a priority:

· Send message of support to the workers at Kilbarry F: +353-(0)51-332716

· Organise collections and send a delegation to visit the occupation

· Organise a solidarity protest where you live.

· Raise the issue in your union or college.

Related Link:
author by Scepticpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 21:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This ignored that the basic problem at Waterford is that not enough people wanted their products. This led to insolvency at which point the board would have been bound by law to move to wind up the company to avoid a charge of reckless trading. Its hard to see how the occupation can change this reality. Ditto the pensions and redundancy issue - these have not been "stolen" - its that there is not enough assets in the firm to meet them. They could only be paid by diverting taxpayers money and the sums would be very large as these workers were very highly paid. Moreover a very significant precedent would be set which would lead to outlays of billions from public funds to meet similar claims - all of this money would have to be borrowed and would be payable by future generations. The occupation of the showroom is just damaging the region's tourism and image as well as putting off potential investors.

author by Gearóid, Tír Eoghainpublication date Mon Feb 02, 2009 23:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't worry, I'm not falling for the old agent provocateur's tactic of diverting energy from the workers' cause by engaging in petty exchanges with an obvious gombeen of the boss class. Suffice to say that 'Sceptic' would be one of the most whole hearted cheerleaders for a Harney/McCreevy/Marie-Antoinette solution for the brave workers in Waterford who are merely the latest victims of tragic capitalist mismanagement.

Let the workers show that they can run their own affairs at Waterford. Unfortunately, they can't rely on the cheerleaders for cringing 'social partnership' that pass themselves off as trade union leaders in the 26 counties. Victory to the workers at Waterford! Nationalise Waterford Crystal!

author by bonkerpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 00:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

2 or three billion would find its way into a hell of a lot more honest pockets in waterford than it will in AOB HQ

author by regpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 01:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

any chance that those private security are the same lot that stormed the irish ferries a few years back

author by Annepublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 02:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The pseudonym 'Sceptic' appears with monotonous regularity when FF and whatever fools or knaves they have currently propping them up is, in any way, perceived to be theatened.

It would be informative to the wider country if the private security company employed in Kilbarry was named; it would then be possible to see connections which may well prove interesting.

author by RTE listenerpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Talk of "revolution" in Ireland on Pat Kenny this morning...

author by Scepticpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It’s not a question of tragic capitalist mismanagement. It’s simpler than that. Waterford was a privately owned company producing luxury good. Because sales were poor or costs out of line or both the company eventually failed. It happens all the time that some firms fail while others succeed and new ones come into being. Nationalising Waterford won’t in any way guarantee its commercial success – people in foreign markets are going to start buying its crystal because it has turned into a semi state. The State would be left to fund ongoing losses as well as the substantial debts and liabilities of the firm. In the present climate this cannot be afforded.

The best and only way forward if it has a future is a new investor buying the brand and continuing production overseas with a continuing showroom presence and maybe some minimal manufacturing presence in the South East. But occupying the showroom is not going to encourage this. It will have the opposite effect.

author by J.Kpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any chance we can read the interview rather than another obscure WSM rant. Alternatively change the title of the feature article.


author by roper - wsmpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

JK said: "Any chance we can read the interview rather than another obscure WSM rant. Alternatively change the title of the feature article"

Hi J.K. - the interview is linked to in the first couple of lines. Its an mp3 rather than a typed up interview. The 'rant' as you call it was not written by the WSM - I guess an editor inserted it. I don't think it makes much sense either...

author by ranterpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And what does not make sense in the article?

It's simply pointing out that the same bank (BOA) is involved in withdrawing lines of credit from the Occupied Factories in Chicago and Waterford. The same Bank now OWNS Merrill Lynch who are advising the government here on their troubles. It is a Republican Bank and they are actively involved in frustrating the rights of workers to unionise in the US.

The government here are going to use billions to bail out banks imminently but so far have not lifted a finger to help the workers in Waterford - they are most probably on the side of the vultures (former management) who at the end of the day want the Waterford brand without the hinderance of having to deal with unionised workers.

The tiny ugly world is the 'circle of shit' (tm. Jinx) that links the two situations,

author by Andrewpublication date Tue Feb 03, 2009 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I thinks your writing style in the intro is much too compact (a lot of ideas packed into a small space) which means it's hard for those who don't already know the point your making to understand it. I skimmed over it without catching on. In general I'm not sure writing in a way that requires people to follow links is useful, but in this case it also takes them away from the actual content your introducing. I'd say its worth expanding the 3 or so paragraphs out into 6 so even an idiot can catch the point your making.

author by Saoirse - Republican Sinn Feinpublication date Wed Feb 04, 2009 14:27author email saoirse at iol dot ieauthor address 223 Parnell Stauthor phone 01 8729747Report this post to the editors

Statement by Republican Sinn Féin Vice President Des Dalton
In a statement in support of the Waterford Crystal workers the Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin and Athy Town Council local election candidate Des Dalton said:
“With their ongoing sit-in the workers of Waterford-Wedgwood are leading the way by sending out a clear message throughout Ireland and internationally that workers are not prepared to simply roll over and allow their livelihoods to be taken away.

“The Dublin government is on the one hand prepared to recapitalise the banks from the ‘National Pension Reserve Fund’ whilst on the other no support is forthcoming for the workers of Waterford and the hundreds of thousands facing the loss of their jobs. In Waterford workers who have given up to 40 years service to the company now face the real prospect of being left without a pension.
The same prospect faces many other workers also.

“Working people have no great cash reserves or secret off-shore bank accounts. They pay their tax at source, their main and in many cases only asset is their job. Their job is their means to live with dignity and respect, to rear and educate their children and put a roof over their heads. The workers of Waterford Crystal are striking a blow for all workers and it is the duty of all workers and the entire trade union movement to fully support them. Rarely has the old trade union slogan ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’ carried more meaning or relevance.”


author by Kevinpublication date Wed Feb 04, 2009 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Seems the British Government can step in for Wedgwood to safeguard jobs...See Here... .

Why can't the Irish Government not do the same for Waterford Crystal. Also why is there so much silence from Martin Cullen, the local TD. Is he waiting for something positive to happen so that he can jump on the bandwagon, as he seems to do all the time lately,without contributing anything himself.

Looks like these FiaFianna Fáil muppets are a bunch of Me Feiners and are only interested in anything when they come out of it in a good light.

But then again Martin Cullen's track record ain't that great anyway, jumping from one party to another to suit himself. I guess it's time for a change in government. Put someone in there who is actually interested in doing something for the people, in this case Waterford Crystal craftsmen. If these Jobs go, who is going to teach the next generation to blow, cut and manufacture glass.

Related Link:
author by Scepticpublication date Wed Feb 04, 2009 20:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

British company law is different from Irish – there would be a danger if the Irish Government intervened that it could be found by the courts to be preferring one set of creditors and /or find itself becoming liable for all or much of the debts of the Group which are substantial. Right now the British authorities have more ready money than the Irish also.

That would not necessarily prevent the Irish Government doing something about the pensioners but they would be loath to do so because of the danger of having to pick up the tab for other private sector unfunded liabilities.

Certainly they won’t do anything on either front until such time as it is clear if there will be a private buyer or not. This is not something Martin Cullen can change on its own – it’s a national not a regional matter and it’s not within his power to change the policy.

There is no point in picketing Deloitte – they just happen to provide the receiver but he is in fact an agent of the courts for this job. Deloitte cannot tell him what to do. He is not their employee for this purpose. If the receiver thinks the best thing to do is to cease production he is bound by law to do that. He has no discretion. If you have an argument with that your argument is with the law. Personally abusing the receiver is futile.

There is also no point in going on about the banks. That industry is vital for credit, money transmission and confidence. A call has been made that it is better to bail them out than to allow one to fail in the national interest.

The crystal industry is not so vital. Moreover some of the best business brains around half lost nearly half a billion in trying to sort it out. If the State took it over it would loose another half billion even faster. That is the fear. Besides while there may be some argument for the State owing transport or energy or postal entities there is none for owning a crystal making company that has seen better days. The unfortunate fact is that though it is a traditional industry in the South East it is not ordained that it must or should last forever if people don’t buy its products. Unlike their parents the under 50s of the wealthy nations of the world generally prefer other types of tableware to the Waterford product.

author by folksingerpublication date Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Caption: Video Id: kGfdvg2XyEc Type: Youtube Video
Embedded video Youtube Video

author by ExLabour - myselfpublication date Tue Feb 10, 2009 00:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

with regard to the situation at Waterford Crystal, the contributor Sceptic' makes common sense points about W.C. At present there is no long term solution to the crisis at Waterford crystal. Nationalising the company would solve nothing, making expensive crystal with no where to sell ?.

the crises in this industry is worldwide, problems at factories in the czech republic etc.

the Goverment will have to come up with programs, to retrain people etc for when the economy rebound.
Saying that there is a Crisis of Capitalism, helps nobody, we have had crises before & will the future, unfortunately capitalism is adaptable....

author by A.Rpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A new short film on Waterford Crystal can be found here; I'm sure it can be located on a different site as well. Worth a watch.

author by Jpublication date Tue Mar 16, 2010 14:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Ireland the issue of reckless trading centers around recieving credit when it is obvious the company is insolvent ie. Will not be able to repay this debt. It is imparative to seek from professionals if such situation arises.

Number of comments per page
© 2001-2024 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy