Unions at Waterford Wedgwood fear that between 450 and 500 jobs could be hit in a restructuring initiative planned by the company's management.

Workers' representatives will meet with management in Waterford later today on the issue.

Despite a series of cash injections, the slumping value of the dollar is eating away at how much Waterford Wedgwood gets for its products.

At its AGM last month Chairman Tony O'Reilly said there would be a root and branch overhaul of the company globally.

The company, which employs 1,000 in Waterford, is in talks with a major investor about raising €50m to finance the restructuring.

Mr O'Reilly and his brother-in-law, Peter Goulandris, will also invest €17m.

When the money is raised the company will proceed with significant cost cutting.

Management has not indicated what that would mean for staff in Ireland, but there is no doubt they would be affected.

The full details of the restructuring plan are expected in the coming weeks.