Nervous Waterford Wedgwood UK employees had their fears confirmed at midday today, with the tabletop group’s administrator announcing over 350 job losses.
Deloitte, administrator of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons and Royal Doulton UK (both subsidiaries of Waterford Wedgwood UK), says there will be 367 redundancies at the collapsed company, most of them at the company’s site in Barlaston.
The employees comprise 245 from manufacturing and operations and 106 from administration and back office functions.
In addition, eight of 39 staff have been made redundant from the visitor centre and shop. Eight employees from two store concessions in Southport and Worthing have also lost their jobs.
One unconfirmed report says that the workers will not be paid after today.
Hundreds of staff were sent a message on Friday telling them not to return to work today after the Christmas shutdown but to instead attend a special meeting at noon – where they received the news of the job losses.
Commenting on the redundancies Deloitte’s Angus Martin said: “Unfortunately it has been necessary to make 367 employees redundant. A number of these redundancies had already been announced by the company prior to our appointment and the company had also been considering further redundancies at Barlaston later in the year as part of its ongoing restructuring plan. Today’s redundancies are out of a total of 1868 across the UK businesses.”
He added: “The business will be continuing to trade as normal, and the administrators are continuing discussions with parties who have expressed an interest in purchasing the business. Every effort is being made to avoid further redundancies across the business.”
Waterford Wedgwood employs around 600 people at Barlaston and 1,900 in the UK in total.