There’s scepticism about the ability of Bord na Mona to provide stability for its workers as it transitions from peat harvesting.
The announcement by the company about its plans to diversify include a 1.6 billion euro investment in retraining for new business projects and waste recycling.
It’s seeking opportunities to re-deploy 200 staff and has done a deal with ESB to continue to supply peat to their two midlands power stations until the end of next year.
And it’s also embarking on an accelerated programme of rehabilitation of bogs in the midlands, which it says will help to sustain 200 jobs for employees transitioning from peat operations.
Roscommon Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice maintains that a rehabilitation project will in no way mean 200 jobs.
Deputy Eugene Murphy says the there’s little prospect of a meaningful ‘just transition’ in just one year.
Unions have criticised the plans, with group spokesperson Willie Noone saying there’s nothing new in a voluntary redundancy package for full time employees and the promises for seasonal workers are not realistic.
Deputy Denis Naughten maintains that workers are right to seek more clarity on their future