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Bord na Móna to lay off workers 'as a result of Covid-19 crisis'

The semi-State company said it was a result of its impact “on electricity and horticultural markets”.

UP TO 230 staff are to be laid off at Bord na Móna with the company saying that it’s a result of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The semi-State company today referred to a statement from the Department of Environment which said that the decision was taken as “a direct result of the impact of Covid 19 on electricity and horticultural markets on electricity and horticultural markets”.

“As with all workers affected by Covid 19, those impacted will receive access to the government’s Covid-19 payment, which will be topped up by Bord na Móna to base wage level,” the department said. 

The department noted that the Covid-19 crisis came “at a difficult time for Bord na Móna and their workers”.

The company recently agreed to embark on a programme of rehabilitation of bogs in the Midlands; promising to completely stop harvesting peat by 2030.

As part of this process, 400 people had left the company through a redundancy offer and in October, Bord na Móna announced a redeployment offer for up to 200 workers. 

Speaking after the announcement  of the layoffs today, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said that the 230 workers from Bord na Móna’s Energy Business Unit will be “temporarily released”. 

Fitzmaurice added that while permanent staff will benefit from the government’s Covid-19 supports, seasonal staff will not. 

“While permanent employees will be able to maintain their links with the company, approximately 100 seasonal employees are being shown the door,” he said.

“It is my understanding that no application from BNM was submitted to keep these seasonal employees on through the wage subsidy scheme; which is shameful if true.”

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