Waterford Crystal workers on ‘Walk for Justice’ over pensions

Five years since factory closed

 Former Waterford Crystal workers during  a Unite rally outside Leinster House in Dublin last year.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Former Waterford Crystal workers during a Unite rally outside Leinster House in Dublin last year. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 09:53

Former Waterford Crystal workers held a Walk for Justice protest in the city on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of their fight to secure pension entitlements.

More than 1,000 jobs were lost when the factory closed in 2009, and workers were told they would only get 18-28 per cent of their entitlements.

Members of the pension scheme brought a case against the State for failing to protect the pension interests of employees, and more than one year ago the European Court of Justice ruled that the State was in serious breach of an EU insolvency directive. The case is listed for hearing in the High Court next January.

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said the workers had been on a long walk for justice since the factory closed. “Several former Waterford Crystal workers have died during the past five years without receiving the pensions to which they were entitled. Now . . . Unite has started a process of engagement before the Labour Relations Commission. ”