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Concern about Bord Gais employee conditions after ‘surprise’ sale of company

A union representing some workers at Bord Gáis has said it is concerned about conditions for employees at the company following the Government’s decision to sell off the retail arm.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A UNION REPRESENTING some workers at Bord Gáis has said it is concerned about conditions for employees at the company following the Government’s decision to sell off the retail arm.

Unite, which is part of the Group of Unions at the company, said it wants to see the defined benefit pension scheme for workers retained in its current form, as well as general terms and conditions of employment.

Union representatives have been assured that employees will be protected in both cases, but Ed Thompson of Unite called for “concrete expression” for the assurances.

The deal to sell Bord Gáis Energy for up to €1.12 billion is expected to be completed in early 2014.  The Government announced this week that it has selected a consortium headed by British multinational Centrica – which operates as British Gas in the UK – as its preferred bidder.

The announcement was seen as something of a surprise, given that the previous month the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has said that no bids had met with the Government’s valuation of the company.

However Minister Pat Rabbitte said all three bidders came back with revised bids which put the sale back on the table.

Unite and other groups had opposed the privatisation of State assets, saying the one-off windfall was at the expense of a long-term revenue stream.

More than €500 million from the sale will be used for job creation with the remainder used to write off debt.

Sold: Government selects winning €1.12 billion bid for Bord Gáis Energy >

Read: ‘A betrayal’, ‘deeply cynical’ – Opposition parties line up against Bord Gáis Energy sale >

Read: Bord Gáis sale is ‘selling the family silver’ – union boss >

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