Internal restructuring
Southern and Eastern; South-East (IRL);
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture Of Rubber And Plastic Products And Other Non-Metallic Mineral Products
Manufacture Of Other Non-Metallic Mineral Products
23 - Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products

485 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
4 May 2005
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


The Waterford Wedgwood Group has announced plans to cut 1,800 jobs in total as part of a new round of restructuring: some 485 jobs will go at Waterford Crystal in the Republic of Ireland with the total closure of the crystal plant in Dungarvan as well as cutbacks at the main factory in nearby Waterford City; 160 jobs will be lost at German company Rosenthal; the workforce of Wedgwood and newly acquired Royal Doulton in the UK will be reduced by 950 (about 450 of whom have already gone) as part of the integration of the two companies; and 200 more will go across the wider group.

Waterford Wedgwood is facing considerable competitive pressures. There has been a fall in sales, especially in major markets, in the US and Canada. The high-end tableware sector is declining and, more fundamentally, consumers are moving away from Waterford's heavy cut crystal model in favour of lightweight and more practical glassware. The effects of this trend are compounded by a sharp drop in the value of the dollar against the euro which has hit the company hard.

In the Republic of Ireland, management has been meeting with union representatives to discuss redundancy terms for 485 workers. The company has offered workers a redundancy package of six weeks' pay per year of service inclusive of their statutory entitlements, but payments would be capped at a maximum of two years' salary. The union has described this offer as totally unacceptable.


  • 5 May 2005: The Irish Times
  • 6 May 2005: The Irish Times


Eurofound (2005), Waterford Crystal, Internal restructuring in Ireland, factsheet number 61557, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/61557.