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 Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers

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PostSubject: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:08 pm

Waterford Glass was to be closed today with loss of 480 jobs with no notice - it has been occupied by workers. There is some news on RTE television. I support this occupation.

Manufacturing at the flagship Waterford Crystal plant in Kilbarry, Co Waterford is to cease, it has been confirmed today. The move, which includes the closure of the visitors' centre, will result in 480 redundancies. However, the receiver David Carson has stated that operations may resume in the future if a suitable buyer for the company is found.

"The receiver of Waterford Wedgwood plc, Mr David Carson of Deloitte, wrote today to staff at Waterford Crystal and Cash's Mail Order, informing them that manufacturing will cease with immediate effect at Kilbarry, Co Waterford," said an official statement from the receiver. "As a consequence, approximately 480 employees have been made redundant. The visitors' centre in Waterford will also close.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhsnqlauaucw/
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:13 pm

The receiver can't do alot to save the jobs unless a buyer is found. He does not have the cash to pay them. He does not owe a legal duty of care to the employees. He does owe a duty of care to the creditor who appointed him and is liable in law to them if he does not fulfil his obligations to them. The position of an insolvency practitioner is not a particularly enviable one. People and the media shouldn't make a scapegoat out of him, the man has a job to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:30 pm

Receiver is another name for a liquidator is it? Assets get sold off to pay creditors - FIRESALE - leaving nothing for workers to use again if they wanted to run the business themselves.

Their pensions have been looted - maybe they should be paid back first in plant and machinery.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:32 pm

Not quite, but similar. A liquidator is the official appointed in the winding up of a company. Waterford Crystal is not being wound up yet. However, if no buyer is found it presumably will be and the receivership will be converted into a liquidation.

The role of a liquidator and a receiver are not particularly nice ones but they are a mechanism which must be gone through. It is not the receiver's fault that the company was badly run. I remember growing up watching companies on the news that were placed into liquidation with my father as the liquidator getting abused in the early 90s. It is not very nice and it is unwarranted. Just like a Sheriff only does his job when he is sent in by a creditor, so too does a liquidator. They are the wrong people to demonise.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:49 pm

Are there any demons to demonise in this? I'm not sure I'd demonise a liquidator, as you say it's a process that is normally gone through and someone has to do it.

There are also strikebreakers or slugs or something - tough job but someone has to do it. Auditing also although perhaps a different crowd hate you for that.

Somehow I think of the liquidator as the character played by Harvey keitel in some film where he comes to clean up a crime scene with two 40 litre drums of acid, and he's looking for a bathtub to dispose of the remains What a Face

But who are the demons here? O'Reilly for not doing something right, god knows; the workers for not buying shares in the company all along and taking some responsibility; the system itself for being a stinking mound at times; the 'Downturn'/'Credit Crisis'/'Recession' ?

Hindsight is wonderful of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:07 pm

Too good for them. They wanted globalisation so pay them a chinaman wage. Remember now, vote yes on Lisbon, gobble, gobble gobble Christmas is coming
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:31 pm

youngdan wrote:
Too good for them. They wanted globalisation so pay them a chinaman wage. Remember now, vote yes on Lisbon, gobble, gobble gobble Christmas is coming
What are you gloating at?? Your people are getting a 2trn shaft next month - hah hahha.

Have you not watched the little video I posted to the right? The dollar printing one?

The United States of Zimbabwe coming to a Continent near you.

Whose head are ye going to put on the 1 trillion dollar note next September? Paulson's? Bush's? Bernanke's? Or maybe a collage of all the heads of the American electorate as they bended over twice for the same thing ???
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:58 pm

Fair play to the workers.

This is a definite example of a public exigency. Someone should start proceedings to confiscate all the materials and equipment on behalf of the workers and their families. In the meantime, I hope the workers impound everything in expectation of this event.

Solidarity.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:10 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:


Whose head are ye going to put on the 1 trillion dollar note next September? Paulson's? Bush's? Bernanke's? Or maybe a collage of all the heads of the American electorate as they bended over twice for the same thing ???

Shouldn't that be a collage of the BOTTOMS of the American electorate?? Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:19 pm

I have not watched the video yet but have taken to watching them since I noticed them . Very good in the main.

The workers are showing some zest and should be supported but they will get no support from the big parties. A touch of nationalism is called for.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:26 pm

youngdan this could be the beginning of Ireland's Crystal Revolution!
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:44 pm

Yes indeed. All they need are some crystal balls
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:47 pm

youngdan wrote:
Yes indeed. All they need are some crystal balls
That fella who was keeping the gardaí at bay had guts anyway - Seán D'Olier I think his name was.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:35 am

Is that the Irish for, Sean on the dole
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:41 am

The receiver is there to try to get the best possible deal. It could mean selling off as a going concern or it could mean selling the assets. Other than the site the assets are unlikely to be of that much value and site values are debatable.

Has anyone considered a workers buy out? If they think they should be employed, by inference they must think there is a future so what can 480 people raise? Faint heart never won fair lady!
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:44 am

squire a lot of them have pensions that are way down in value, I believe, so they could be financially very strangled even if they wanted it.

I'd argue they've worked all their lives, their sweat was their shares, let them take it over and try to do what they can with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 12:58 am

Audi

Now I would sooner see that sort of bail out, say a government LOAN! to secure the assets but after that they will need working capital.

Once a receiver starts to break up a company they get generally get a pittance for it. There is not too many who want the equipment they have there.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:07 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
squire a lot of them have pensions that are way down in value, I believe, so they could be financially very strangled even if they wanted it.

I'd argue they've worked all their lives, their sweat was their shares, let them take it over and try to do what they can with it.
Were they not paid for their sweat on a weekly basis.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:21 am

tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
squire a lot of them have pensions that are way down in value, I believe, so they could be financially very strangled even if they wanted it.

I'd argue they've worked all their lives, their sweat was their shares, let them take it over and try to do what they can with it.
Were they not paid for their sweat on a weekly basis.
Without their sweat the machines wouldn't have kept going, the money wouldn't have come in to service those machines and buy new ones - yes they were paid weekly but their sweat contributed to the purchase, upkeep and running of that constant capital, those machines that are, I'd argue, as much theirs as the company's. Especially now moreso that their pensions are now evaporated.

Don't you think they deserve a shot at making it work first. They worked all their lives, some of them. These people ARE Waterford Crystal - they deserve it.

Bertie the Socialist would agree I'm sure Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:34 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
tonys wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
squire a lot of them have pensions that are way down in value, I believe, so they could be financially very strangled even if they wanted it.

I'd argue they've worked all their lives, their sweat was their shares, let them take it over and try to do what they can with it.
Were they not paid for their sweat on a weekly basis.
Without their sweat the machines wouldn't have kept going, the money wouldn't have come in to service those machines and buy new ones - yes they were paid weekly but their sweat contributed to the purchase, upkeep and running of that constant capital, those machines that are, I'd argue, as much theirs as the company's. Especially now moreso that their pensions are now evaporated.

Don't you think they deserve a shot at making it work first. They worked all their lives, some of them. These people ARE Waterford Crystal - they deserve it.

Bertie the Socialist would agree I'm sure Wink
Bertie, like me, would have socialist sympathies, but would not be a communist. There are no hidden extras in anyone’s wage, what you see is what you get. If you want a share of your company, put your money where your desire is.
The pension fund could be a different matter, was it misappropriated in some way?
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:50 am

Was the pension fund misappropriated? Wasn't it invested in a fund that has collapsed?

Quote :
Hundreds of current and former Irish workers at Waterford Wedgwood could lose their pension entitlements because of a shortfall in the company's retirement scheme. The workers in the British part of the group are covered by a Pension Protection Fund.

The Irish Government examined setting up a pension insurance scheme two years ago but no legislation was ever implemented. That means there is no safety net for Irish staff as Waterford Wedgwood's pension fund is in deficit of over €100m.

http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0109/waterford.html
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:02 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Was the pension fund misappropriated? Wasn't it invested in a fund that has collapsed?

Quote :
Hundreds of current and former Irish workers at Waterford Wedgwood could lose their pension entitlements because of a shortfall in the company's retirement scheme. The workers in the British part of the group are covered by a Pension Protection Fund.

The Irish Government examined setting up a pension insurance scheme two years ago but no legislation was ever implemented. That means there is no safety net for Irish staff as Waterford Wedgwood's pension fund is in deficit of over €100m.

http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0109/waterford.html
In that case the Government should if possible put a hold on everything up to the first 100 million raised by the sale of the business or assets and put whatever they can get to top up the fund.

Whether Waterford should ever have agreed to fund a pension open to these difficulties another matter entirely, with management like that this end was inevitable.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:09 am

Shouldn't the workers not have a say now on what should be done with the first 100 million of that business before anyone else? They are in effect the owners of at least that much of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:15 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Shouldn't the workers not have a say now on what should be done with the first 100 million of that business before anyone else? They are in effect the owners of at least that much of it.
Not without 100% agreement and you're not going to get that. If the money comes available it should be put into the pension fund, I'd say that's about as good as it's going to get for the workers.
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PostSubject: Re: Waterford Glass Closed - Occupied by Workers   Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:18 am

You can't just jump in and change the law... there are literally thousands of companies in this country about to go bust and there are thousands of companies in the past which have done so. There is a clear priority of debt when a company goes into Receivership or is eventually wound up by Liquidation. It is mandated by the Companies Acts and to bypass that would be i) against the law or ii) require statutory intervention which would have a whole host of bad repurcussions. Tattoo in haste and you will regret at your leisure.

The order of priorities is as follows:

1) Fixed Charge Holders
That is those creditors who have security, like a mortgage, over an asset of the company. This security is made by way of a debenture and it is the debenture holder who appoints a liquidator if the company is no longer able to pay its debts as they fall due.

2) Preferential Creditors
This includes monies owed to employees and taxes owed to the Government.

3) Floating Charge Holders
This would be people who have security but it is held by way of a floating charge. That is over a class of asset, something like the stock current held by Waterford Crystal.

4) Unsecured Creditors
People who have orders outstanding or people who have lent money with no security attaching.

5) Shareholders.


Generally you never get beyond category two in a winding up and there is rarely enough money to satisfy the entire category so creditors in that category (which includes employees) are paid a percentage of monies owed.

This is the law. It is pain to anyone who works for, has invested in or who has lent to a company unless you are a bank with a fixed charge. But nonetheless it is the law and an attempt to change it, currently, would be, in my opinion, disasterous.
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