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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => Malta Glass => Topic started by: WhatHo! on November 10, 2014, 12:43:16 PM

Title: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 10, 2014, 12:43:16 PM
Thanks Chris.

Looking at Chris's Malta Craft Glass label it begs a couple of questions,

1. How does MCG fit in to the whole MDG scene? Before, during, after? Same premises?
2. Why does the label have CGL around the cross not MCG?
3. Should we indeed be calling these other pieces CGL not MCG?

Thoughts please, Wolfie

Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: glassobsessed on November 10, 2014, 03:57:32 PM
Can't answer any of those questions Wolfie, clueless here.

John
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: chriscooper on November 10, 2014, 05:52:41 PM
If you read the Craft Glass label in the same way as the MDG label it actually reads GCL ?


Chris
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 10, 2014, 06:18:58 PM
I promise I didn't know this before asking the above question but I have found some very exciting info :) and I have answered all my own questions!!! Watch this space whilst collate it and look for more data.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 10, 2014, 08:30:10 PM
I will be adding a more in depth précis with interesting info later but very basic details are as follows.

Early 1978 - MDG is taken over by Italians and renamed Craft Glass Ltd
Sept 1978 - CGL go on an unofficial strike.
Nov 1978 - 30 of the 80 workers are discharged, furnaces are kept in operation
End 1978 - CGL Factory closes.

Malta Decorative Glass and Craft Glass Ltd both had same address, Factory A36 Industrial Estate, Marsa, which is near Valetta
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 10, 2014, 10:43:21 PM
Well done Wolfie !  :D

Did you find this info. in the Times of Malta by any chance ?

Do you know if the factory was used after 1978 by one of the other Maltese glass companies ? Is it still in use today ? I think Mdina are still based at the old aircraft hangers .
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 10, 2014, 11:06:57 PM
There is a UNIVERSAL PLASTICS LTD that moved to that address in April 1988, what the building was doing between 78 and 88 I do not yet know.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: chopin-liszt on November 11, 2014, 01:02:47 PM
Fascinating, and clearly very, very useful information. Thanks so much for all the digging!
The source, however, would be very informative too.

We do have to remember the caveats of the reliability and accuracy of the source, so that should always be included when referring to the information.
That way, if something else comes to light that is contradictory, at least we know who said what.

I wonder how "Malta Craft Glass" fits in? Might that be after the strike, the remainder of the Craft Glass Ltd. that went on after '78?
Or did it all go belly-up in '78?
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 11, 2014, 01:20:22 PM
Sorry, these are all details from the Malta Times. Precis of 5 articles with lots more details coming up at some point.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: chopin-liszt on November 11, 2014, 01:27:07 PM
Wonderful.
This way, we can refer to the info. as being; "The information as ascertained by Wolfie, from the Malta Times."

That keeps you 100% correct and the Malta Times is responsible for all inaccuracies. ;D
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 11, 2014, 01:48:48 PM
I wonder how "Malta Craft Glass" fits in? Might that be after the strike, the remainder of the Craft Glass Ltd. that went on after '78?
Or did it all go belly-up in '78?

There is no such company as 'Malta Craft Glass' they were called 'Craft Glass Ltd'. The Malta Craft Glass on the labels refers to where they were (in Malta) and what they were making (Craft Glass) I guess they were just copying the MDG label.  MDG was purchased by Italians in early 1978 then the name was changes and as CGL lasted less than a year due to financial difficulties.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: chopin-liszt on November 11, 2014, 01:54:26 PM
Right. So Craft Glass Ltd., the Italian venture and what we have been calling "Malta Craft Glass" are simply one and the same thing, but with more than one style of label.
Confusion was introduced with the similarity of the labels used and the use of MCG (and the words Malta Craft Glass) on the labels, which was simply incorrect.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 11, 2014, 03:22:40 PM
I'm surprised at how large the workforce was , they must have been producing a vast quantity of glass to keep 80 employees in work . They must have been exporting it , probably to China and then on to the rest of the world, perhaps !  ;) ....I can't wait for the next installment of info ... ;D
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Patrick on November 12, 2014, 02:13:26 PM
I'm surprised at how large the workforce was , they must have been producing a vast quantity of glass to keep 80 employees in work . They must have been exporting it , probably to China and then on to the rest of the world, perhaps !  ;) ....I can't wait for the next installment of info ... ;D

Wolfie has uncovered a mine of new information ....... He has looked 'outside the box' and left no stone or webpage unturned  :)
 I am lucky enough to have seen some of this new information and when you see an image of the Offices and Factory it will become clear it was much larger than Mdina.

Regards,

              Patrick.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Lustrousstone on November 12, 2014, 07:54:51 PM
I'm going to start a new thread for Craft Glass Ltd pictures - not that I have one, but I'm doing a trawl of the threads and going to ask people to upload, starting with Rosie LOL
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 12, 2014, 10:18:27 PM
I have been speaking to a very nice chap who worked at Universal Plastics Ltd when they move into Factory A36 old MDG/GCL building in 1988. As far as he is aware the building was vacant between 1978 and 1988 although not 100% certain. Universal Plastics Ltd closed in 1995 and at some point after that the building was pulled down, he remembers the huge furnace tower coming down.
I think from this we can ascertain that after 1978 A36 was never used as a glassworks although as you will see they were still trying re-open the factory a good while later. There is now a company called Biodome Ltd on the site.
It also has to mentioned that with 80 works MDG/CGL was a substantial glass factory and not any sort of 'studio'.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 12, 2014, 10:25:27 PM
Précis of The Malta Times newspaper cuttings.
 
 
1.   05.03.78 French, Italians take over two parastatal firms.
 
Foreign interests have taken over Malta Decorative Glass, one of the firms set up with Chinese financial and technical aid, renaming it Craft Glass Limited.
Now three Italian industrialists have taken between them 80% financial interest, with Malta Development Corporation keeping the remainder of shareholding.
The Italians are expected to take over the running of the firm within three weeks.
They will branch out into new lines of glass products whilst maintaining their decorative glass production. 76 workers are presently employed but further increase in staff is expected as production increases.
Shareholders are Dott. Gianpiero Biagioni, a trade agent and marketing expert. Dott. Giovanni Gambacciani, a technical director of Technoglass, and Dott. Cesare Antonini, who runs a factory making glass-making equipment.
 
2.   30.09.78 Craft Glass Factory Employees’ “Sit-In”.
 
Yesterday 80 employers of Craft Glass Ltd (formerly Malta Decorative Glass) started an unofficial Sit-in strike at the factory as a result of the turning down of a request for financial assistance from the Malta Development Corporation made by the new Italian management. This sit-in was in support of the new directors who, until recently, were paying salaries and meeting running costs of the factory. Due to the Bank of Valetta refusing to liquidate more money there has been no fuel and other facilities needed to operate the business.
The Spokesman said that the new Italian owners had invested a sum of £M230.000 in machinery when they had taken over responsibility together with MDC in March of this year.
He added that the company had substantial orders both for export and local customers amounting to some £M185.000. “We are being held back by the need for more money to pay wages and run the factory.” Requests to reach a compromise with the director of MDC were unsuccessful.
Workers of CGL are members of The Petrol & Chemical Section of the General Workers Union.
Since the Italians took over the company production of decorative glass has fallen to 20% with the remaining 80% being chandelier globes for the export markets.
 
3.   27.11.78 Craft Glass Discharges.
 
The Craft Glass Ltd is encountering difficulties. Mr Angelo Bartelo, secretary of the Petrol & Chemical Section of the GWU addressed the workers saying that nine weeks ago management had asked for a 6 week period to get the firm back up and running. However he was told no funds were available and workers were going to be discharged.
It would seem that another industrialist was interested in running the firm but despite all efforts to avoid the discharges, after lengthy discussions there was no alternative but to dismiss 30 workers if the factory and other jobs were to be saved.
Discussions also covered who was footing the firm’s debts but negotiations were still in progress said Mr Bartolo. A decision was made to keep the furnaces running to avoid damage, until financial agreement was reached but all other work was to be suspended.
 
4.   23.01.80 Firm Closes Down.
 
Decorative Glass Ltd. restructured in 1978 by the Development Corporation has ceased operating, along with two other companies restructured at the time. The Corporation in its 1978 Annual Report makes reference to marketing difficulties met by the company. It said,
 “ During 1978 the Corporation attracted foreign promoters with technical and marketing capabilities to enter into joint ventures with it and thus ensure better prospects in increasing employment and exports in companies encountering marketing and technical difficulties.”
The Decorative Glass Company was restructured with Italian financial interests but met new difficulties and closed in late 1978.  In April last year (1979), the Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Patrick Holland said efforts were still being made to re-open the factory, previously set up with Chinese financial assistance.
When MDG closed down, total investments amounted to £M556,211. When restructured as Craft Glass the Development Corporation took up shares in compensation for some of the assets in MDG, although Craft Glass was still in existence and efforts still being made to reopen the factory. As for the reasons leading to the closure, the PM said in Parliament, that at one time the owner had been swindled.
 
5.   16.05.80 Payments to Glass Factory Workers.
 
Former Employees of Craft Glass, which had taken over the manufacturing unit from Decorative Glass, (one of the factories set up with Chinese Government assistance), have now been paid outstanding amounts due to them in wages and bonuses, including National Insurance and PAYE contributions, according to the GWU.  Also alternative employment had also been found for many of the workers.
The workers case for these payments was taken up by the GWU negotiating with the Development Corporation & Investment Finance Bank. Taking part in these negotiations on behalf of the Union were Dr. Carmelo Misfud Bonnici, its Legal Adviser, and Mr Angelo Bartolo.
The Union said it was through Mr. R. Calleja’s efforts, as chairman of the investment Finance Bank that the workers' problems were solved to the satisfaction of all 70 workers.
 
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 12, 2014, 10:33:38 PM
Pic moved to previous post
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 13, 2014, 12:33:54 AM
What a fab. piece of research ! And to find a photo of the factory as well  ! :o

There must be people living in Malta today who worked at the factory.... wouldn't it be great to have a record of some of their memories .

I'm sure it could be possible to find a few ex-empoyees  with a bit of networking , all the glass blowers in Malta (past and present) must know each other...surely !  :D
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Lustrousstone on November 13, 2014, 07:18:18 AM
Interesting that after the Italians took over 80% of production was chandelier globes, though I assume chandelier globes are just light shades. I wonder whether a proportion of MDG production was light shades. That would also explain the large workforce
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 14, 2014, 09:59:34 AM
That's a very good point .

Here is my huge guess/estimate of a possible breakdown of staff numbers from a total of 80 employees ...feel free to disagree

15 Management/admin./sales

2 canteen (there was an advert for canteen staff)

3 maintainance

which leaves 60 involved in production

80% lighting/mould blown mass production equals 48 staff

which leaves 12 staff left for arty-crafty work.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Lustrousstone on November 14, 2014, 10:44:03 AM
Sounds reasonable if admin includes finishing, packaging and dispatch, so possibly actually fewer involved with hot glass
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Patrick on November 14, 2014, 12:20:36 PM
Hi Mike,

Your figures sound good, especially when you consider the size of the office / showroom block.

I wonder if they were still knocking the Swordfish out after MDG closed..............?  :)

Cheers,

Patrick.

Ps, I am still looking for a Green example with red eyes and blue fins .....  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 14, 2014, 11:40:05 PM
Ta, Patrick & Christine,

As a group ,Patrick , they look very impressive !

I've been looking for lampshades but have drawn a total blank  ::)

I'm not on twitter and don't really know how it works , just thinking if it might be possible to make contact with some ex-employees of MDG/CGL through this social media by asking for information/ memories about the companies (now that more is known).

I'm pretty sure the glass community in Malta is quite a close affair, with many of the new generation of glass blowers being taught by the older generation, as is the tradition in the industry in any country.

Perhaps a twitter tweet might produce a result. It would be good to get some sort of (first hand) confirmation on how  production was divided and what was produced.

Ta, Mike.
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 15, 2014, 11:31:11 AM
TBH Mike these people will be pretty old and unlikely to be involved in twitter :)
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Baked_Beans on November 15, 2014, 11:29:28 PM
Yes, I had thought of that one, I bet some younger members of the glass community out in Malta were taught by one or two who worked there or they may even be related to them (as it was such a large employer in the industry at the time) . I can't really think of another way to find out  more ,  but what you have managed to uncover, so far, is just superb  ! ;)
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 16, 2014, 01:47:58 AM
Patricks fish in the above pic look strangely appealing, I wouldn't say they are to everyone's taste but without a doubt MDG made a lot of these!!
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: rosieposie on November 16, 2014, 12:32:30 PM
If they are to your taste,  there is one on eBay at the moment that looks similar to Patrick's collection.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321582065232
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Patrick on November 16, 2014, 01:46:11 PM
Hi Rosie,

That one is a little over priced..................  :)

They are much more attractive at £1.99 although I have paid more.........
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 16, 2014, 02:11:20 PM
Sorry to sound like the forum police but can we not drift off topic and stick to discussion about CGL only please!
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: WhatHo! on November 24, 2014, 07:13:46 PM
Patrick, is the CGL base on your paperweight still Battuto, as I know the Italians installed new machinery? Or any one else with CGL labelled piece?
Title: Re: Craft Glass Ltd - after Malta Decorative Glass
Post by: Patrick on November 24, 2014, 10:56:46 PM
Patrick, is the CGL base on your paperweight still Battuto, as I know the Italians installed new machinery? Or any one else with CGL labelled piece?

YES it is the 'Battuto' finish that is found on MDG glass..............

Cheers,
              Patrick.