Waterford Wedgwood partly transfers to Far East

Waterford
Wedgwood is following in the footsteps of Dyson by moving part of its
earthenware production to the Far East, shedding more than 1,000 jobs.

The
ceramics company has announced the phased closure of two earthenware factories
based in Stoke-on-Trent, resulting in the loss of 761 production-related jobs
and a further 297 infrastructure-related positions.

In
February last year Hoover manufacturer Dyson announced 800 redundancies as a
result of moving production to Malaysia.

A
spokesman for Waterford Wedgwood said its management was consulting with the
pottery union CATU and hoped some of the job losses could be delivered through
voluntary redundancy.

Up
to 275 people employed in these factories will have the opportunity to transfer
to the continuing earthenware manufacturing operations at Barlaston and Tuscan,
Stoke-on-Trent.

The
spokesman said the firm has been hit by a combination of the growth of foreign
imports in key UK and US markets and challenging trading conditions, meaning it
is unable to compete against significantly lower overseas manufacturing costs.

By Ben Willmott

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