August 23rd: Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly was one of the speakers today (Saturday 23 August) at the ‘Waterford Crystal Pensions Walk for Justice’ organised by former Waterford Crystal worker Maria O’Grady. The event took place five years after Waterford Crystal closed with the loss of over 1,000 jobs, and well over a year after the European Court of Justice ruled that the Irish state had failed to protect the workers’ pension entitlements. Demonstrators walked from the entrance to the former factory in Ashe Road to John Roberts Square.
“Since Waterford Crystal closed its doors in 2009, we have been on a long walk for justice – from the Irish courts to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and back to the Irish courts. We have been out on the streets, in Dublin and Waterford, and on the media, making our case for pension justice.
“Several former Waterford Crystal workers have died during the past five years without receiving the pensions to which they were entitled”, Jimmy Kelly pointed out.
“Now, in an effort to secure our members’ entitlements, Unite has started a process of engagement before the Labour Relations Commission.
“It is scandalous that workers have been forced to jump through a range of legal and bureaucratic hoops in the ongoing effort to secure the pensions to which they are entitled.
“Today’s event, and the support shown for the workers by a broad cross-section of the community in Waterford, demonstrates again that we’re not going away until we receive pension justice”, Jimmy Kelly concluded