European role in achieving ‘Just Transition’ must be investigated
October 17th: Unite, which is part of the Bord na Mona Group of Unions, today (Wednesday) called on the Government to intervene following the company’s announcement that the Midlands alone will lose a further 150 jobs in the next few months as the company continues moving away from peat-based activities, with further redundancies expected down the line.
While Bord na Mona has given a commitment to engage in negotiations, Unite Regional Officer Ed Thompson pointed out that de-carbonisation will result in further jobs losses, and said that workers and their communities would pay the price for de-carbonisation unless robust measures are put in place to ensure a ‘Just Transition’ from fossil fuels.
“Those rural communities where Bord na Mona was previously an economic driver are bearing the brunt of de-carbonisation policies introduced to mitigate the effects of climate change. Climate change is a national, European and global problem, and the response must also be at a supra-national level.
“Unite is calling on recently-appointed Minister Richard Bruton to ensure that workers and their communities can access a EU-wide ‘Just Transition’ fund. Along with ring-fenced carbon tax receipts, such funds could be used to help drive investment in community renewal as well as future employment-generating initiatives.
“Workers and other stakeholders must also be fully involved in developing ‘Just Transition’ policies at all levels as recommended earlier this year by the European Trade Union Confederation.
“A skilled and committed workforce in the Midlands built Bord na Mona over decades. Unite and the Group of Unions are determined to ensure that the workers do not pick up the decarbonisation tab”, Ed Thompson concluded.