Sunday 1 February 2009

Waterford factory occupation

The question of how to stop job losses is the big one for trade unionists at the moment.

In the USA, workers at Republic Windows & Doors occupied their factory and got so much support that Obama spoke out in their support. This in turn led to the bank offering credit to their employers. The factory is still open.

UNITE members at Waterford Crystal in Ireland are now trying the same approach, and are entering their third day in occupation. It has certainly got a lot of media coverage, though it's hard to get much of a picture of what's going on. The AFP report and the Irish Independent give some background while the Indymedia reports give some snippets with various updates.

What is clear is that by occupying, the workers have put the question of the plants future at the centre of national debate, rather than just being the latest grim statistics on the news.

We can only hope that they get all the support they need to save the factory.

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