Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen TD has claimed that Minister Pat Rabbitte ‘has failed the workers of Bord na Mona’ as 105 seasonal workers are not having their contracts renewed and over 90 full-time staff are being put on short-time or redeployed.
“Minister Rabbitte has refused to address the concerns of workers for months. Earlier this year I sought to meet the Minister to discuss the concerns with union representatives and local representatives in the midlands,” he commented.
“The statement from the company does not deal with the asset management review and there is a genuine concern that this is going to lead to the closure of workshops and further impact on the company. It is incumbent upon the Minister to ensure that whatever restructuring is proposed that the burden is shared fairly among workforce.
According to Mr Cowen, workers have been expressing concerns about the following issues:
-The potential impact of Bord na Mona’s other business in wind energy and waste management
-The Government’s attitude to the sale of state assets
-The impact of a very bad summer leading to a poor harvest
Deputy Cowen said: “People in Offaly and across the midlands are shocked that a Labour Minister in Government Pat Rabbitte has ignored the concerns of workers to the point now where people are out of work and others will be on a shorter working week. The Minister should be showing leadership on this issue and working with management in Bord na Mona as a matter of urgency. Is Minister Rabbitte unable or just unwilling to deal with this matter?”