The Company: Wedgwood Group
The Wedgwood Group makes fine bone china giftware and tableware
under the aegis of multinational corporation Waterford Wedgwood,
which also operates the Waterford Crystal Group and cookware company
All-Clad, among others. Wedgwood was founded by Josiah Wedgwood
of Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1754. As a brand, it is practically
synonymous with fine English craftsmanship. For centuries, Wedgwood
has catered to an elite clientele including royalty around the world.
Eighteenth-century monarch Queen Charlotte so favored Wedgwood the
company started the Queen's Ware line in her honor.
While the company's highest-end products are still hand-cast, much
of the manufacturing is now assembly-line drudgery performed by
working-class laborers. Few of the factory workers can afford to
have the items they manufacture in their homes -- talk about alienation
from the means of production!
Next: Workers Lose Jobs to Modernization