February 9th: Seven months of negotiations with Bord na Mona have culminated in union members based in Littleton accepting a deal which will include redeployment for 40 workers following closure of the peat briquette plant, as well as a redundancy package including six weeks’ pay per year of service and other benefits.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Ed Thompson said:
“Unite members, along with members of SIPTU and Connect, have voted to accept the redundancy package negotiated between unions and management. In addition to six weeks per year of service, the package includes a once-off voucher and continuation of the outplacement training programme. Significantly, those workers being redeployed will have a year in which to decide whether to continue with the redeployment or avail of the redundancy package.
“Given the continuing decline in the market for peat briquettes, the focus must now move to a ‘just transition’ for the workers and communities in those rural areas where Bord na Mona was previously an economic driver.
“In recognition of this, unions and management will commence negotiations on a protocol that will apply to future restructuring programmes. However, the Government must also play its part in driving investment in community renewal, including the construction and services associated with renewable energy.
“The agreement endorsed by union members last night should be seen as a first step in a process to ensure that the rural communities affected are fully supported through this inevitable transition”, Ed Thompson concluded.