Responding to reports that the sale of Waterford Wedgwood to KPS Capital was imminent, with a deal likely by this weekend, UNITE Regional Organiser Walter Cullen said yesterday (Thursday) that he had no official word to that effect, either from Receiver David Carson or from KPS, the New York based private equity firm.
He also denied reports that the government had refused to become involved in securing the pension rights of glass workers.
“Discussions in that regard are ongoing and as far as we are concerned it is not an option, due to EU requirements, for the government not to guarantee pension entitlements”, he said.
In midweek, sources claimed that Mr Carson was finalising terms of sale in respect of most of the group’s assets to KPS. As well as Waterford Crystal, those assets include Wedgwood and Royal Doulton china in Britain and Rosenthal porcelain in Germany.
KPS, which says it has a long track record of dealing with trade unions and organised labour, is committed to maintaining some employment in Waterford, but it is not known how many of the 780 jobs which existed prior to the halting of production last month will be retained.
See The Munster Express Weekender newspaper for a full report.