Unions representing Bord na Mona workers warn of massive lay-offs

The crisis in Bord na Mόna has reached a critical stage, according to the Group of Unions which represents workers in the semi-state company.

At a meeting yesterday with the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Tom Donnellan, the GOU says it was informed that unless a sense of urgency was injected into the concept of a “Just Transition” accompanied by real support from all stakeholders, the future of Bord Na Mόna appears “dire”.

According to Willie Noone, the secretary of the GOU, Mr Donnellan said that if nothing changes within the next month a “seismic decision” will have to be made and it will not be “good news” for workers.

The GOU says it’s been working tirelessly to protect the conditions and jobs of almost 2000 workers who currently work in the company and to ensure that those who wish to voluntarily leave can do so with dignity and respect.

Almost 80 seasonal workers were laid off at the Bord na Mona works in Mount Dillon in July when the power station had to be closed , and the jobs of another 70 permanent workers were also threatened.

The power station was brought back on the gird this week but its not thought any more peat harvesting will be needed this year.

The long term future of the power station is also in doubt after the decision  of Bord na Mona not to grant permission for the west Offaly station to move to biomass.

Willie Noone, Bord na Móna Group of Unions secretary, says immediate action is needed.