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View Diary: Irish Workers Occupy Waterford Crystal Factory (277 comments)

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  •  Those workers are brilliant (54+ / 0-)

    They're truly craftsmen...so many people travel to Waterford just to visit the factory--I can't believe the Irish government would permit this outsourcing.  Ridiculous....Waterford Crystal made in China..

    •  But... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alisonk, object16, murrayewv, kurious

      How many people do you know that still buy crystal like in the old days. Unfortunately it is a dying business. There are simply not enough people willing to pay the high costs that it takes to make the stuff.

      Asia is actually one of the few growth markets (if there are any) for crystal. When we lived in Asia my wife sold high end crystal to the nouveau riche. Try and sell it in North America these days ... not the same market anymore.

      I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong- Feynman

      by taonow on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:09:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My thoughts exactly. (15+ / 0-)

        Although it doesn't do to move a traditional Irish business to Asia, let alone any other manufacturing business, I can tell you that out of the five shops that used to sell Waterford here, none have survived. The only place that even offers it is Macy's at the mall, and you have to order it there from a book. They don't even stock samples anymore.

        My mother had some beautiful pieces that would bounce rainbows off the neighbor's windows. What that 15-inch tall, quarter-inch thick, fully-cut lead crystal vase is now worth I shudder to think, but I didn't inherit it because I had no use for it.

        Sales of traditional luxury goods will continue to decline as tastes and lifestyles change. How many of you have bought a sterling baby cup or spoon lately?

        It isn't the goods themselves that must necessarily change--as a craftsperson I know that all trends become passe--it is the craft itself, and global marketing strategy and capitalism that must change. The world cannot make more stuff after we use it all up, markets cannot continue to grow, and people would still buy Waterford if they were getting married in traditional ways, and heaven knows there will be extravagent weddings for years to come; but because couples now more often list at Crate and Barrel and Target than Tiffany's means that the craft itself needs to change. Waterford needs to regroup and redesign. The Irish can handle it. But they can't handle the company moving to Asia.

        Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

        by crose on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:36:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Silver and crystal (19+ / 0-)

          I use my great grandmothers silver and use her Waterford celery goblet. I know many people who have replaced or "upgraded" glassware and flatware (not crystal and silver) enough times to have bought place settings for 24 of good stuff. (Most Americans throw out enough plastic flatware to buy a few pieces each year.) In environmental science, I tell my students that I am glad that my great-grandmother didn't get up from the table and throw her dishes in the trash after each meal.

          I still give sterling baby spoons and forks; I use my baby cup to hold cotton swabs on my dressing table.

          Is the visual joy of beautiful crystal useless?

          I see no point in buying Asian made crystal. But I will buy Chinese porcelain. Deloitte doesn't understand that it is not just the name - it is the quality.

          •  Agree one-hundred percent... (15+ / 0-)

            ...worked for a high-end capital goods manufacturer for many years in int'l group through 90s big push was pacific rim asia. Our name preceded us and enhanced our success. When we opened factories in China, many clients/customers stated a strong preference for the USA built products...my understanding is that attitude is still alive today...especially when the product is essential to the projects successful operation. Waterford crystal is an icon of crystal products. They need to get the Irish govt to ban the use of the Waterford name by the offshore 'waterford' crystal manufacturer.

            Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

            by kalihikane on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:50:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I feel the same way. (10+ / 0-)

              Waterford brand would lose everything it once meant if it was suddenly made in China.

              Memo to Waterford: "Made in China" now means this to people:

              1)it it poorly made, it is made with cheap components and it will fall apart more rapidly.

              2)It might contain hidden hazards you don't know about, like lead and other poisons, and may not be made up to code.

              3)It symbolizes the complete destruction of American manufacturing,and everything that this destruction has cost us as a nation.

              4)It symbolizes the oppression of the Chinese under their Capitalist/Totalitarian state.

              "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

              by Reepicheep on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 04:27:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I inherited a lot of crystal, fine china... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            crose

            ..tried to give it to daughters, but they weren't interested. So now I'm giving it to granddaughters. I don't bother to ask--it's just what they get for a wedding or graduation present. A little dessert set here, crystal water glasses there... I'm waiting for the first grandson to marry--he gets the monogrammed silver water goblets!

            I have used it over the years--some of it sets a smashing Christmas table--but not much. "Elegance" really has become obsolete.

      •  But when I buy it... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Debby, luvmovies2000

        I want it because of the craftsmanship.

        I don't buy a lot of crystal, but I do have some, and I do buy it on occasion for special gifts.

        Waterford is quality craftsmanship; I know when I buy it that I'm getting what I paid for.

        There are a few other names like this -- Kosta Boda, Orrefors, Lalique, for example.  I can buy them and feel comfortable knowing the craftsmanship that went into these.

        The names connote a specialness, suitable for once-in-a-lifetime presents for weddings, births, graduations, but the names are tightly bound up in their craftsmen.

        I won't buy Waterford if it's made in Asia; it will no longer be special, just another commodity.  Moving to Asia is so damaging to their brand, I can't even begin to imagine how stupid management would have to be to contemplate doing this.

    •  Did you know that the iconic ... (33+ / 0-)

      ... American cookware brand - Revere (as in Paul, one if by land, etc) - now belongs to an Indonesian company & is made overseas? It's still pretty good stuff, but the classic copper bottom has been replaced with an aluminum disk that can occasionally separate from the pan bottom entirely.

      I have what's left of my mother's set of Revereware from the 1950s - FAR better products.

      But then, WTF do *I* know? I'm merely an AIDS carrying, child molesting, dog fucking, marriage busting, Christian hating, clueless privileged white male faggot!

      by The Werewolf Prophet on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 12:20:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have my mother's old revere pots & pans (7+ / 0-)

        And they are nothing like the new ones.  I bought a newer revere pot but everything sticks on the bottom and it warped.  Totally useless.  I still use her old ones - nice and heavy.

      •  How about Radio Flyer? (4+ / 0-)

        That Norman Rockwell brand that makes sleds, trikes and red wagons for kids is now Made in China. The material is cheap, the wheels don't balance each other. Its just become another crappy product with a distinctive color and name.

        "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

        by Reepicheep on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 04:30:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've got mom's Revereware too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenalley, JesseCW

        She bought it around '59 or '60. I've got a skillet on the stove right now, waiting to sizzle some venison loin. It's beautifully seasoned, and in great shape. It's made me into a real pot and pan snob. Only other cookware worth a shit is an iron skillet and/or dutch oven.

      •  I have a set of Revereware (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Panda, greenalley

        from when I was in college in the 1970s.  Still works great. My mom got rid of a lot of hers from the 50s but she still has at least one piece.

        Everything I hear about the new stuff is that it is crap.

      •  The legal brands are all pirate goods (8+ / 0-)

        in the end and vice versa. The Chinese don't have to pirate much of American made stuff anymore... The same plant that makes the "American" brands are often the ones that also pirate it... and after a while they buy the brand and merge the pirate and the legal... after step by step outsourcing by US companies until the subcontractors in the Orient buy up the identity to go along with the reality that they make it all over there.

        Consumers forgot or never knew they were driving a rush to the lowest cheapest quality and the company owners and leveraged buyout mad, bean counters rewarded themselves by gutting and and selling off wholesale all the quality and identity of a century of American manufacturing.

        Germany wrecked from 2 world wars has still managed to rebuild and retain much of their own quality and identity in what they produce. And in the end the difference is in the US the war against labor unions has obsessed big capital for years till now that they have almost succeeded entirely in stripping unions of any real power. And now that this myopic quarterly bottom line mentality and hostility to paying a living wage has contributed to the ghastly economic implosion they remain puzzled at the havoc around them as they drag the temple of prosperity down with them.

        In Germany they continue to work with unions and don't seem to be driven to hollow out the manufacturing base and sucking unsustainable profiteering out of it.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

        by IreGyre on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 04:54:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  totally agree (0+ / 0-)

      It won't happen.  There is no way.

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