Ireland

Stand-off continues over Waterford Crystal

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A meeting aimed at resolving the stand-off at Waterford Crystal has ended.

ICTU General Secretary David Begg said little progress had been made at the talks in Dublin and the position has not changed.

He said further efforts would be made to resolve the situation over the coming days.

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The receiver, David Carson, failed to meet a union demand that he reverse the situation to stop production at Kilbarry.

While recognising the difficult situation for the employees concerned, Mr Carson said he had to act within the context of his legal role and responsibilities.

Officials from the UNITE union, which represents 90% of the workers, met the receiver along with the Secretary of the Department of The Taoiseach, Dermot McCarthy, and Mr Beggs.

Speaking on his way into the meeting, UNITE regional organiser Walter Cullen said the only way the stand-off would end would be if the receiver reversed the decision to shut down manufacturing.

A meeting between Mr Carson and two high-level officials from UNITE took place in Kilbarry this morning.

Union officials say Mr Carson told them he would not be changing his mind in terms of yesterday's closure.

Union officals described the meeting as acrimonious.

Workers and former employees at Waterford Crystal spent the night occupying the main Visitor Centre at the company's factory at Kilbarry.

Sleeping bags and blankets were brought in, as were food parcels, most of which were donated locally.

Those occupying say they will remain on site until such time as the receiver reverses his decision to close the plant. There are over 200 workers occupying the visitor centre on a rotational basis.

Earlier, an estimated 2,000 people attended a rally in support of the Waterford Crystal workers.

The demonstration heard calls from trade union officials for the Government to intervene in the dispute and allow the company to continue trading for at least a week while potential buyers are spoken with again.

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