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June 11th, 2009
Raise the Last Glass
  • Finola Kennedy

    An evocative rendering of what is both a business and a human tragedy. Raise the Last Glass captures in a specific case an experience which must be replicated in a multitude of cases around the globe. Congrats to all concerned.

  • V. Bender

    I’m grateful to the attention these workers are receiving and it illustrates a global issue that if not dealt with will effect families for many generations to come. I feel like everyone knows of someone who is suffering emotionally and financially due to job loss after years of dedication. CEO trust will be difficult to get back and ethics and business need to marry up again, along with communication with the company’s backbone, the workers. These workers are obviously passionate about what they do, and are an equal part in the Waterford brand.

  • Joseph Furman

    This is the plague of the “Capitalist” system. There are cycles of prosperity and depression resulting from overproduction and lack of a market to dispose of the products. Unfortunately, the Socialist system doesn’t work either, as exhibited in the Soviet Union.

  • J Humphreys, Ireland

    Excellent film on what is a very sad chapter in Ireland’s economic downturn.

  • Sol Wachtler

    Lucy Kennedy and Lauren Kesnew have done a remarkable job in capturing, not only the personal tragedy of the Watterford workers, but the loss to our culture of the magnificant skill of artisans– a loss which will deprive future generations of the beauty and tradition of Waterford Crystal. They have given a dimension to a story we all heard on the news, but the impact of which may have escaped most of us.

  • Con Power

    Lucy and Lauren have produced a wonderful human interest story. It tells in microcosm what is now happening in Ireland because of a combination of the international economic and financial turbulence, a redistribution of manufacturing & traded services specialisations consequent upon globalisation, and a failure on Ireland’s part to learn the lessons of the pre-Celtic Tiger years, especially of the period 1979 to 1993. The film itself brought back to me many memories of my home City of Waterford and an empathy with those who have now lost their jobs.

  • J.Shabbir

    It is a very interesting documentary. It is both informative and moving. I never realised how bad the situation was for the workers in Waterford crystal. Congratulation to you and your team, Lucy. Well done.

  • Fran Gustman, Sandy Furman

    Informative, moving, and well-edited! A very sad story, but very well told.

  • J. Hassman

    Well-executed. In only a brief window in time, this story managed to bring what could have been “just-another-globalization-sob-story” to life in an original and genuine way. I would love to see a follow-up piece next year for further insight into how the closing of the Waterford factory–and more importantly, an end to a way of life–has continued to impact these individuals and their hometown.

  • Dan

    Sad . . . depressing . . . not only for the workers at Waterford but for the global situation. Governments, in general, need to decide whether their citizens or business owners are of more value to society.

  • Deise Delight

    The Fianna Fail Government, the opposition party and all the politicians elected and paid for to serve the people have not done their job they have NOT worked for their people they have simply served themselves and fed at the trough of greeed for too long! Its they who should be sacked! no pension…no perks…no notice… just the same as the ex Waterford Workers! A revoloution brothers! Oh yeah and not to mention that they let a world brand – a world class product be broken up and shipped out to eastern Europe and God knows where else and still call it “Waterford” sorry folks but its just glass not Waterford Crystal ye’ll be buying from now on.

  • Marcia

    What’s happened since KPS took over?

  • muiris o ceallaig

    sold down the drain by the union and not the first time

  • Kevin Walsh

    I left Waterford for England in 1955 because that was the only option for young (18)people like me then. I had hoped that things had changed and that our people who wanted to could have a good prosperous life in their own Town/Country. Am deeply saddeneded that once again emigration may be the best option for our young people. Capitalisism strikes again. Wonderful but very sad film.

  • Nick Athanasatos

    How could they vote it down? All those craftsmen wasted & the town economy.
    Those impractical suits do it again.The company should simply shrink back to it’s 1970’s capacity,and continue to suppy the existing demand.Clear away all that balony and get 600 workers back in there and make the best crystal in the world,it’s a no brainer.Come on…

  • Gretchen

    I was there the Monday before the workers voted on the final offer and it was just heartbreaking. For those of you interested KPS is based in NYC and you can contact them and tell them you will not buy Waterford Crystal not made in Waterford Ireland!

  • Tomas Tisch

    Not only does this represent a loss of jobs and a very sad chapter for capitalism,.
    The bigger concern is the loss of skill. These worker are highly skilled craftspeople who represent a collective pool of knowledge that will disappear, thus making the world at large a poorer and bleaker place for all of us.
    The gradual loss of quality is going on all around us, mostly unnoticed. More and more of humanity is much less skilled, the race to the bottom has been going on for quite some time and heaven help us when we get there.
    It will take generations to re-grow the knowledge base that is lost if this is truly allowed to happen.
    I wish the workers of the Waterford Crystal Factory well and I hope that they will find a way to continue their tradition on their own, perhaps there is some support from local leadership for a co-operatively run facility.
    This is a new world and workers cannot depend on bosses to help them ever again, do it yourself you are the Irish Tigers.

  • Mary Clogston

    I love Waterford Crystal and having traveled all over Ireland have seen that the Irish successfully operate their own businesses in every field. Is there someway they can buy the company?

    The same thing is happening to Ethan Allen in Beecher Falls, VT. I am beginning to believe these economic downturns are being engineered by the powers that be. You don’t need to ride in with an army anymore.

    I will contact KPS but I would rather see Irish ownership.

  • Mary Wallace

    Just HEARTBREAKING! My visit there was one highlight of my trip to Ireland- an historic, legendary place with such talented and dedicated employees. I’m ashamed of the role greedy Americans have played in all these economic tragedies. It’s not Waterford crystal if it’s not made in Waterford, Ireland by Waterford artisans.

  • Carlene Moloney

    I suggest that we all actively participate as good consumers and carefully select our purchases with the country of origin in mind. If you want a Waterford product, make sure it is made in Waterford City, Ireland.

  • Barb Douglas

    How tragic. Just indicative of our times. When I got married it was everyone young brides’ dream to have a Waterford collection. I have an entire set, which I plan to hand down to my grandchildren. I cherish each piece. There is not else like it. Now, its all about flat screen televisions and laptops. With this generation, everything is throw-away. I am truly sorry that this factory is closing, I have no intention of buying Waterford from anywhere other than Ireland. I wish all the employees well and hope that by some miracle they can carry on their wonderful craft.

  • John Moloney

    I worked at Waterford Crystal for 22 years as a Glassblower my father was the first Waterford man to blow glass when the company opened in 1947 most of my family members work at the plant as well. I feel a real sadness at he plant closing for all the good people that made Waterford great .But I know that these people are strong and will surive this loss. Waterford Crystal is a brand but living in America loyal Waterford consumers are not fools they want made in Waterford Ireland or else it’s not the real thing . I have read in the newspapers that they plan to open up a visitors center in downtown Waterford City for to attract tourists and say it’s made in Waterford thats is just a token do they think people are fools ?. Once again the Irish Goverment gives nothing to Waterford just lip service . If KPS thinks that they have defeted the workers of Waterford Crystal with 10m and bought the peace they are sadly mistaken they might owen Waterford Crystal but they don’t owen Waterford talented Glassmakers . Jimmy Moloney (my father) I know turned in his grave with the loss of his beloved Waterford Crystal but that talent will not go to waste.

  • Nancy Coyne

    Very well done. Am not surprised the unions “did them in” as usual. I will not purchase another piece of Waterford crystal that is not made in Ireland. It would a very smart move to reopen the factory as well as the visitors center. Waterford is a very fine crystal and should be brought back.

  • Garry Sacramento Ca

    I’m sorry to see what happen it was just bad management not capitalism, I have lived here in America for 17 yrs and anytime I mention where I am from people recognize right away the name Waterford and so I am very excited to read the company is reopening, I know with a good team and better advertising Waterford can survive and be a big employer again, Americans still love the product, and want to buy the product and see the Green label made in Waterford. Come on the Blues.

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