The Department of Social Protection has lodged payments to the bank accounts of 1,251 former Waterford Crystal workers totalling €34m, it emerged today.
The payments follow the pensions settlement negotiated by the Unite union on behalf of its members.
The row has been on-going for over six years, when the company went into receivership.
The Waterford Crystal factory closed in 2009, leaving 1,700 people without their pension entitlements.
The European Court of Justice later ruled that the Irish State was in breach of its obligations under the terms of the EU Insolvency Directive to ensure that employees receive sufficient accrued occupational pension entitlements.
"The payments made to our members today mark the final step in a long battle for pension justice – a battle which could never have been won by an individual acting alone," said the union’s Ireland secretary Jimmy Kelly .
"Only by acting collectively through a trade union has it been possible for former Waterford Crystal workers to vindicate their rights.
"In that regard I would like to thank all our members for their support during this long process.
"All remaining claims will be processed in the coming weeks.
"Today’s news that payments totalling €34m have been made to 1,251 former Waterford Crystal workers is not only good news for the workers and families concerned – it will also provide a welcome boost to the economy of Waterford and the South-East."