Workers at Waterford Crystal have been told by management that short-time working is being introduced for three weeks prior to the summer holidays. At meetings in the Kilbarry plant yesterday (Thursday), chief executive John Foley addressed two separate gatherings of the workforce when he outlined the present position regarding a number of issues including sales and restructuring.

The first week of short-time working is set to commence on Monday May 26th., the second on Monday June 16th. and the other in July prior to the annual holidays. Mr. Foley said the reason for the short-time working was the high inventory of product already in stock that needed to be cleared. He said sales for crystal were depressed in the US, UK and Irish markets but there were encouraging signs that Waterford Crystal was holding its own and not being as badly hit as other brands in this economic downturn.

There were angry exchanges between some workers and management over the current redundancy programme. Quite a few workers, who had signed up to accept the package, said they were still waiting for their situations to be processed and they had believed that the money was in place when they made their decisions to leave the company.