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New layoffs at Bord Na Móna "a disaster for the midlands" - Brian Stanley TD

21 April, 2020 - by Brian Stanley TD

Over 200 job losses to be signed off on today, no Just Transition for Bord Na Móna Workers.

Sinn Féin TD and party spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Affairs Brian Stanley says the latest developments regarding job losses at Bord Na Móna is a disaster for the Midlands counties.

The Laois-Offaly TD said Minister Bruton and Kieran Mulvey, the Just Transition Commissioner, need to intervene as it appears that there is no Just Transition for Bord Na Mona workers.

Deputy Stanley said;

"Bord Na Móna management have informed unions that they intend to issue seven day notices to between 190 and 230 workers at the company this week. This will affect both seasonal and permanent employees on the bogs supplying peat to the 3 Midlands Power Stations Shannon bridge, Edenderry and Loughree. Shannon Bridge will worst affected at 119 workers and 23 in Edenderry.

"It is proposed that the permanent staff would be put on the Covid 19 Income Support Scheme for employers and receive 80% of their basic wage. The decision is to be rubber stamped by the Board of the Company today.

"Unions are been informed by Bord Na Móna that the layoffs are due to the Covid 19 Emergency and the knock on effect regarding the demand and price for wholesale electricity. The delay of the decision by An Bord Pleanala (ABP) on planning permission for this year’s peat harvest is also been cited as a factor.

"It makes little sense for Bord na Móna to proceed with this scale of layoffs when it expected that electricity demand could increase after May 5th with an easing of health restrictions and some industries and services restarting. 

"The decision from An Bord Pleanála on whether to give the green light for this year’s peat harvest is also due on May 12th. If there is a favourable outcome on both of these matters, workers will be needed quickly to restart operations.

"I am requesting that Minister Bruton who is the sole shareholder in this publicly owned company and Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey intervene to prevent this disaster for workers and their families. I have written to both of them today to urge them to do so."

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