News & Media

Bord Na Móna workers must not be abandoned

11 July 2019

Statement by Willie Penrose TD
Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural & Community Affairs

Labour TD for Longford Westmeath Willie Penrose has called on Government Ministers to direct resources to assist the 78 seasonal Bord Na Móna workers laid off this morning in Longford, and ensure that a just transition is put in place for any future job losses.

Deputy Penrose said

"News of 78 job losses of seasonal workers this morning, and with the threat of a further permeant worker being laid off at Lough Ree power plant, is a devastating blow for Bord Na Móna workers in Longford. First and foremost I believe the Minister for Employment and Social Protection should direct resources within her department to support these seasonal workers to assist with potential re-employment. There is also an urgent need for a State taskforce with supports from IDA and Enterprise Ireland to examine how to create and sustain new employment opportunities in the Midlands. 

"Minister Doherty should direct local Citizen's Information, Partnership Agencies and Local Enterprise offices to coordinate with the worker's and their union reps to assist them going forward. I would hope that the ESB will fully engage with  Bord Na Móna unions to protect the further 72 permanent jobs at risk from next week. 

"While these job losses were unexpected, further job losses across the Irish fuel industry are sure to come in the future. Within Bord Na Móna alone we know there are plans for future bog closures and as a result peat harvesting will be winding down across the company.  We know that as the economy is moving away from a dependency on traditional fossil fuels, there is an onus on the government to protect workers in this industry. A just transition to a green economy means the safeguarding of workers with proper compensation packages and opportunities for retraining.”