Responding to news that Bord na Móna is considering laying off 200 staff, with further layoffs on the cards, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment David Cullinane TD has said that Minister Richard Burton cannot let Bord na Móna wither on the vine.
“News that over 200 jobs may go at Bord na Móna is deeply troubling and flies in the face of previous commitments given to the workforce and their Union representatives.
“While there has been a drop in electricity demand and fuel prices, it is the responsibility of the company to come up with a viable plan that safeguards the jobs and livelihoods of their employees.
“The workers and their trade union representatives are deeply concerned about this move, and they see it as a cynical move by the company to bring forward job losses.
“My understanding is that Bord na Móna have not given up to date financial accounts to the Group of Unions, nor have they produced a credible blueprint for the future. Bord na Móna cannot be allowed to simply wither on the vine.
“There is considerable uncertainty now for workers at the Lough Ree power plant in Lanesboro and the West Offaly plant in Shannonbridge.
“Minister Richard Bruton is taking a hands off approach to this matter and must directly intervene. He is sitting on a report from the Just Transition Commissioner and must publish this report and ensure there is genuine and serious engagement with trade unions.
“We all accept we must move from a brown to a green energy economy, however a Just Transition must be at the heart of this strategy. The Minister is failing in his duty to these workers and must step up to the plate.”