SITPU has said this evening that industrial action may be the only option that may be open to the union following the mass lay-offs of workers at the Bord na Mona works at Mount Dillon.
In a statement issued this afternoon Bord na Mona Group of unions Secretary Willie Noone said they are shocked that the semi-state company has informed staff they’re to be laid off indefinitely with only 7 days’ notice.
He said the unions have a collective agreement which is only five weeks old which clearly states that an engagement must take place with union representatives prior to any jobs being lost.
The issues at Bord na Mona have arisen following the suspension of operations at the ESB’S Lough Ree Power in Lanesborough because it’s not able to comply with its environmental obligations in relation to the hot water which it discharges into the river Shannon.
Speaking on the Lets Talk Show this afternoon, Joe Lane, who’s head of energy with Bord na Mona rejected suggestions that the company could keep on the seasonal workers for another month or so, and allow them to stockpile peat.
He says the suspension of the power plant means the demand won’t be there, and they have almost the full amount of peat they need harvested at this stage…
Mr Lane says the company would have no problem reinstating all workers immediately, including the seasonal contingent, if the issue at the power plant was to be resolved…
John Tynan who’s Chairman of the SIPTU local branch at the Mount Dillon works has worked there for over 40 years and says the workers feel very angry at the way they company has dealt with them.
He said many believe they’re being scapegoated for problems with have nothing o do with them.
As the news of the job losses broke this morning in the town of Lanesborough, most people are immediately concerned for the local economy given the long and traditional relationship between it and Bord na Mona.
These people say it will impact badly on local businesses and livelihoods across the board…