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Christmas bonus: Waterford Crystal staff in €40,000 pension deal

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The vast majority of the crystal products are now made outside Ireland

The vast majority of the crystal products are now made outside Ireland

The vast majority of the crystal products are now made outside Ireland

ALMOST 1,800 Waterford Crystal workers are in line for payments of up to €40,000 as the Government prepares to sign off on a pension compensation deal this week.

Sources revealed the new package to be presented to staff includes a lump sum payment of €1,000 per year of service.

They said annual pension payments will be based on tiered arrangements, which will offer the greatest protection to those on lower level pensions.

The package will be based on a calculation related to a percentage of a worker's pension entitlements, together with their years of service.

Cabinet will consider the deal, which will not affect social welfare payments, tomorrow.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said "a lot of work had been put into reaching an agreement" and the matter is due to come before the Government.

The Government is expected to sign off on the deal later in the week and former employees will then vote on it.

The pension package was brokered by the chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey, following months of talks.

Discussions were convened following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in favour of the workers last year.

The court ruled that the State is in breach of its obligations under the terms of the EU Insolvency Directive to ensure employees get sufficient pension entitlements.

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The High Court was due to decide the level of money involved next month.

The workers' union, UNITE, said it was hopeful that progress had been made at talks on the compensation package.

"Our understanding is that the deal will go to Cabinet on Tuesday, and will then go to Government on Thursday," said a spokesperson.

She said the union hopes to be able to put a recommendation to its members at a meeting in Waterford on Saturday.

The glassware brand closed in 2009 after going into receivership with the loss of over 700 jobs.

A total of 1,774 former staff were left with nothing when the company and pension became insolvent.

Thirty four workers have since died without receiving any entitlements.

A UNITE meeting with the workers was due to take place to discuss the pension deal yesterday. It was postponed due to a delay as the details of the package were finalised.

Former worker and UNITE member Sean Maher said: "The main thing about this is that the dignity and the respect will have been restored...And those workers gone; their families will be looked after."


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