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 A NO vote from Waterford?

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PostSubject: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:39 pm

Our situation as a small state with strong economic links to the US but tied to the now very costly Euro has contributed to the imminent demise of Waterford Glass with loss of thousands of jobs (directly employed and spin off). O'Reilly has apparently asked for a 30 million euro credit note from the government to "stop the jobs going east". This is unlikely to be agreed to by the EU as it would appear to be a "State Aid" to prevent relocation of production and may be a cynical ploy by O'Reilly.

Will the closure of Waterford Glass, and the almost certain veto of government aids by the EU lead to a big NO vote from the south east?
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:45 pm

I totally ignored this in the paper yesterday. The dollar/euro imbalance is starting to show its fangs...

Is state aid allowed up to a certain amount do you know or is it forbidden outright? Is this such a bad thing in the long-term when we know we should be creating jobs which are sustainable and in reality the world works like this with the EU state-aid rule anyway - no mercy because you get up to your neck in your own sht anyway?

We need to create sustainable jobs. If we do anything like that then Martin Cullen will have sustained his own job.

http://www.electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=2007&cons=226

I completely skipped your point about the NO vote coming from Waterford in the Lisbon Referendum, sorry.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : neglected main point of thread :oops:)
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:57 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I totally ignored this in the paper yesterday. The dollar/euro imbalance is starting to show its fangs...

Is state aid allowed up to a certain amount do you know or is it forbidden outright? Is this such a bad thing in the long-term when we know we should be creating jobs which are sustainable and in reality the world works like this with the EU state-aid rule anyway - no mercy because you get up to your neck in your own sht anyway?

We need to create sustainable jobs. If we do anything like that then Martin Cullen will have sustained his own job.

http://www.electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=2007&cons=226

I think there are (at least) two questions here. One is the issue you are raising above - sustainable employment in Ireland. There are a lot of reasons Waterford Glass is in trouble. It is worth contemplating that there has been world renknowned glass manufacture in Ireland for hundreds of years. Look what the Scandinavians have done with furniture. Why can't we make glass work here?
This stuff is worth a thread of its own perhaps.

The other question is to do with realpolitik, and how voters will react to the experience of an EU which is no longer a cosy provider, but which leaves us unable to use traditional means we had of creating or saving jobs - currency adjustments and grants. This may come at a very bad time for the YES agenda.

CHRIST DO YOU SEE THAT WEATHER !!!!!!
santa rendeer
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:25 pm

I heard that we have been making glass for a long time alright but don't know an awful lot about the history.. I'll get back to you later on that.

Do you think there is a positive point in us not being able to artificially maintain an industry here by offering incentives and 'dig-outs' to that industry though on the world scene it may not be competitive?

As a third point, perhaps, we have voted ourselves into an economic bloc and chosen a currency which is an agreement basically with the currencies of others and which now happens to be so strong as to make us uncompetitive in certain ways... like what is happening to business in your example. Shouldn't we really adapt ourselves to and within the bloc we've chosen otherwise we'll have to think about opting out if it begins to tighten up uncomfortably - if opting out were a solution, that is.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:29 pm

From what I remember, we are still way too dependent on the UK and US economies as markets compared to the rest of the EU. I wonder is this not only a matter of historic habit, but also to do with languages? One of our greatest strengths is verbal communication: this doesn't help us so much in Germany or Spain. Perhaps we should be having a lot more language training for business people.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:19 pm

cactus flower wrote:
From what I remember, we are still way too dependent on the UK and US economies as markets compared to the rest of the EU. I wonder is this not only a matter of historic habit, but also to do with languages? One of our greatest strengths is verbal communication: this doesn't help us so much in Germany or Spain. Perhaps we should be having a lot more language training for business people.

Well, exports to the non-UK EU are about 45% of our total by value. UK, US, and rest of world are then about 20%, 18%, and 17% respectively.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:28 pm

This is good news. Why (apart from clunky designs and outdated product) can't Waterford sell its glass then?

OOOOps

Apparently it sells 70% of its product to the US.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:48 pm

Tradtionally, Waterford Glass is the coalminer's canary of the Irish economy. They've collapsed at the beginning of every single rough patch the economy's gone through in the last 30 years (maybe more - I wasn't paying attention).
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:29 pm

ibis wrote:
Tradtionally, Waterford Glass is the coalminer's canary of the Irish economy. They've collapsed at the beginning of every single rough patch the economy's gone through in the last 30 years (maybe more - I wasn't paying attention).

They do seem to lurch from one crisis to another. Even with Wedgewood, that hideous Mason's china and the modern designer glasses (Costello, Rocha, etc) they just don't seem to be able to keep up with the times - and I suspect that's the nub of the problem.

And the fact that the wedding present market has changed beyond recognition...

Perhaps it's because it's such a specialised, labour intensive trade - the glassblowing end. Their showrooms are fantastic - incredible chandeliers. I've never done the factory tour though I've seen glassblowers at work in Sweden.

Orrfors, Kosta, Nybro and Boda among others would be worth looking at - they produce some cheaper, funkier glass (a lot of it coloured) while nothing that Waterford produce is cheap but attractive for the broader market. The Swedes have built up a whole Kingdom of Crystal in Smaland. On the map on the inside of a cookery book I bought there, there are 15 glass factories and I've visited a few of them - not all big industrial units like Waterford but some are small artisan, boutique-y places.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:42 pm

Agree with you Kate P. on the design and lack of innovation generally. Was once nearly eaten as an extra course at a dinner in Waterford for saying the product was not beautiful, and could not compare with the quality of 18th century glass. Waterford were also very slow to do anything about lead leachate in glass - Baccarat had it sussed by the early 90s.

The twentieth century version of Waterford Glass was founded by two Czech guys. Perhaps if we give our new generation of immigrants half a chance they will get some new things going.

It would be tragic to let the name and brand go outside Ireland though.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:52 pm

Wedgewood and Royal Doulton are both under the Irish Waterford Wedgewood banner now, so no doubt there was a similar attitude to those brands.

Maybe the best thing for Waterford glass is to de-industrialise its glass industry. I'm not sure what its USP is apart from its Irishness and maybe on a much smaller, more niche-orientated scale, it might do well enough. They have shown no interest in diversifying into the kind of product that younger people might have an interest in so there is nothing to attract new customers to the brand - unless you buy your wine glasses in BT; and most people don't.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:14 pm

Kate P wrote:
ibis wrote:
Tradtionally, Waterford Glass is the coalminer's canary of the Irish economy. They've collapsed at the beginning of every single rough patch the economy's gone through in the last 30 years (maybe more - I wasn't paying attention).

They do seem to lurch from one crisis to another. Even with Wedgewood, that hideous Mason's china and the modern designer glasses (Costello, Rocha, etc) they just don't seem to be able to keep up with the times - and I suspect that's the nub of the problem.

And the fact that the wedding present market has changed beyond recognition...

Perhaps it's because it's such a specialised, labour intensive trade - the glassblowing end. Their showrooms are fantastic - incredible chandeliers. I've never done the factory tour though I've seen glassblowers at work in Sweden.

Orrfors, Kosta, Nybro and Boda among others would be worth looking at - they produce some cheaper, funkier glass (a lot of it coloured) while nothing that Waterford produce is cheap but attractive for the broader market. The Swedes have built up a whole Kingdom of Crystal in Smaland. On the map on the inside of a cookery book I bought there, there are 15 glass factories and I've visited a few of them - not all big industrial units like Waterford but some are small artisan, boutique-y places.


Waterford is virtually gone, with just a hundred or so jobs and a tourist centre to be kept. Maybe what is needed is to throw our young design graduates together with the skilled glass blowers and cutters and give them to support to start up their own businesses. Venice is full of small studio glassmaking studios.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:20 pm

i have done the tour, its amazing.

call me old fashioned but i still buy waterford crystal as wedding presents. i will not, ever, give money or vouchers or anything off the BT wedding list.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:39 pm

The SU is in the giftware market and Waterford was just too expensive and their customer care detriorated significantly and rapidly over the last couple of years. Their reliance on the US market did not help. When food becomes a concern, crystal doesn't register on the radar.

Fact of the matter, nealy all "Irish" crystal is imported from . . . China (where else). The china and cyrstal manufacturing market, if you like, has gone into major consolidation. The Irish make the initial molds from their designs and send them over to china for manufacture. I believe Waterford is following suit. It would have saved some major dosh if it had done so sooner.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:30 pm

rockyracoon wrote:
The SU is in the giftware market and Waterford was just too expensive and their customer care detriorated significantly and rapidly over the last couple of years. Their reliance on the US market did not help. When food becomes a concern, crystal doesn't register on the radar.

Fact of the matter, nealy all "Irish" crystal is imported from . . . China (where else). The china and cyrstal manufacturing market, if you like, has gone into major consolidation. The Irish make the initial molds from their designs and send them over to china for manufacture. I believe Waterford is following suit. It would have saved some major dosh if it had done so sooner.


Given the size of China's population I don't see why they shouldn't be making everything in twenty year's time. They would have to sell it to each other, as no one else could afford to buy it.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:33 pm

The Waterford Wedgwood are the most utterly clueless and idiotic fools on the Stock Exchange. Those pack of inveterate scroungers and wasters should be tarred and feathered for their breathtakingly bad management of the company over the past few years. They should all be sacked and replaced. The workers should not be expected to pay for the mistakes of the jokers who are supposed to be their managers.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:35 pm

cactus flower wrote:


Given the size of China's population I don't see why they shouldn't be making everything in twenty year's time. They would have to sell it to each other, as no one else could afford to buy it.

Wrong. The US has been the largest economy for many decades - do they make everything in our world today? Of course not. Supply creates its own demand and other economies can grow by selling other goods which can be better produced outside China to them in order to pay for their expanded industrial production.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:39 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:


Given the size of China's population I don't see why they shouldn't be making everything in twenty year's time. They would have to sell it to each other, as no one else could afford to buy it.

Wrong. The US has been the largest economy for many decades - do they make everything in our world today? Of course not. Supply creates its own demand and other economies can grow by selling other goods which can be better produced outside China to them in order to pay for their expanded industrial production.

A nice balance would be one in which our production was more or less in balance with our population, as a proportion of the world total.
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PostSubject: Re: A NO vote from Waterford?   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:45 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:


Given the size of China's population I don't see why they shouldn't be making everything in twenty year's time. They would have to sell it to each other, as no one else could afford to buy it.

Wrong. The US has been the largest economy for many decades - do they make everything in our world today? Of course not. Supply creates its own demand and other economies can grow by selling other goods which can be better produced outside China to them in order to pay for their expanded industrial production.

A nice balance would be one in which our production was more or less in balance with our population, as a proportion of the world total.

We'd see a fair cut in our GDP if that was the case! We make up approximately 0.28% of global economic output but only 0.07% of the world population. That'd mean, on current terms, our economy would shrink by three quarters!
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