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Former Waterford Crystal workers outside the Dáil in 2013. Sam Boal/photocallireland/Photocall Ireland

Five years on - Waterford Crystal workers speak of struggle to secure pensions

The workers have been campaigning for five years.

A GROUP OF former Waterford Crystal workers marched in the city today to mark five years of attempting to secure pension entitlements.

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. At the time, 1,500 workers were told they would receive only between 18% and 28% of their pension entitlements.

Today, demonstrators walked from the entrance to the former factory in Ashe Road to John Roberts Square.

Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly was one of the speakers today at the ‘Waterford Crystal Pensions Walk for Justice’ organised by former Waterford Crystal worker Maria O’Grady.

“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.

The union has begun a process in the Labour Relations Commission, which they hope will be the last stage of their protracted battle.

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”.

Read: Five years since it closed, the fight for Waterford Crystal pensions takes new turn

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