Bord na Mona: Government must reassure workers that policy has not changed

Unite logo white out of redMinister should be clear that unions will not accept compulsory redundancies

July 31st: Unite, which represents craft and managerial grades in Bord na Mona, today called on Communications, Climate Action and Environment Minister Richard Bruton to reassure workers that Government commitments given in 2017 and 2018 remain in place.  The call came following Mr Bruton’s meeting with worker directors at the company.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Bernard Daly said that workers were increasingly concerned at what he termed the government’s ‘hands-off’ approach to the growing crisis, and that these concerns had been exacerbated by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s statement to the effect that no job losses would occur before the end of 2020 – a comment in worrying contrast to the Government’s commitment, given just last year, that an orderly ‘Just Transition’ would take place up to the end of 2028. Mr Daly also reiterated that unions will not accept compulsory redundancies under any circumstances.

“Workers are growing increasingly concerned not only at the government’s hands-off approach to the growing crisis, but also at the ongoing failure to involve their trade union representatives in matters relating to Bord na Mona – whether in formulating an application to the EU Fund for Transition, as promised in October 2018, or developing a response to the current situation in Lanesborough.

“Minister Bruton must now come out and state publicly that Government policy in relation to Bord na Mona, and in relation to achieving a ‘Just Transition’ in the face of de-carbonisation, has not changed, and that he and the Government continue to adhere to the phased transition from peat-based activities and biomass co-fuelling to 2028 as previously agreed.

“The Minister should be quite clear that unions will not accept compulsory redundancies under any circumstances”, Mr Daly stressed.

“Decisions regarding Bord na Mona do not just affect the workers directly involved:  they also affect communities which depend on full-time and seasonal employment by the company for survival.

“Any sense that the government is wavering in its commitment to Bord na Mona will cause serious concern in local communities”, Mr Daly warned.

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