Nachtmann, a major supplier of glass to Waterford Crystal, is to close a factory in Germany with the loss of over 180 jobs.

Nachtmann were the first producers of outsourced Waterford Crystal back in the early 1990s. This announcement clearly indicates that the crisis in the glass industry is not the sole domain of Kilbarry’s to claim.

Nachtmann, which is now Austrian-owned, is one of Germany’s best-known glass makers. On July 9th last they announced that the Saint Oswald- Riedlhutte factory would close by the end of the year; the staff there had been on short time since June.

Hot glass production would cease by the end of August, with cutting and acid to be suspended by November.

Union members said that there had been no talks regarding pay cuts or further short-time working, much to their anger. The sudden announcement of closure left many employees in tears.

Some of the 180 staff have been given the opportunity to transfer to the other Nachtmann factory in Weiden, where there some shift work would be available. However, anyone availing of this offer would have to sell up home and relocate.

Glass making in this part of Germany goes back to 1452 in this region, long before glass was ever commercially made in Waterford. The local community, hardly surprisingly, has been hit hard by the news.

After the closure, Nachtmann’s total employment now stands in its factories at Amberg, Weiden, Neustadt and Frauenau will stand at 650.