Waterford Crystal workers strike in 1990 over cost cutting by managers who believe their jobs can be outsourced.

2,300 workers at Waterford Crystal went on strike for 14 weeks over a £10 million savings package at the company that ended bonus payments for glass cutters in 1990.

Fergus Ó Raghallaigh reports for ‘Today Tonight’ on the deadlocked strike. Chief Executive Paddy Galvin insists the cuts are necessary if the company is to survive and says it costs more to produce the glass than it can be sold for. He claims the glass could be sourced for half the cost elsewhere.

Chief Shop Steward Jimmy Kelly says the workers do not accept this and that the skills to make the glass are not exportable, they are based in Waterford: “We don’t feel it’s on that you take Czechoslovakian glass and stick a Waterford label on it”. Willie Farrell, Chairperson of the Strike Committee, says management is to blame for the dispute and it can only be solved if wage cuts are taken off the table.

The workers eventually reached an agreement with management on cost cuts. Much of the production has since been outsourced.