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Bord na Móna workers to vote on industrial action in pay row

Unions say staff at the semi-State body are due a 3.5 per cent pay increase, but the company has said this would cost jobs.

A train carrying peat fuel across the Bog of Allen for Bord Na Mona's Edenderry power station
A train carrying peat fuel across the Bog of Allen for Bord Na Mona's Edenderry power station
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WORKERS AT BORD na Móna will take a vote on industrial action later this month, in a dispute over a pay increase at the semi-State body.

Unions representing staff at the company say they are due a 3.5 per cent pay increase, which was agreed in 2008 under the Towards 2016 social partnership deal.

However, Bord na Móna management have said funding the increase would necessitate spending cuts elsewhere and put jobs at risk. In a statement, the company said it had offered unions a lesser pay increase which had been rejected.

The Labour Court stated in November that the unions had a valid claim to the increase, but said talks were necessary on how that claim could be addressed. In recent weeks the two sides have been in talks at the Labour Relations Commission.

“Unfortunately workers at Bord na Móna have been left with no choice but to ballot for industrial action,” said Oliver McDonagh, secretary of the Bord na Móna group of unions.

“Management has consistently refused to honour the spirit of the Labour Court recommendation. Bord na Móna workers have shown great patience and dignity in dealing with this intransigence.”

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In the statement, Bord na Móna said: “The company made a generous offer of an upfront payment of some €800 per employee and a three per cent per annum potential payment.”

However, it said unions had refused to accept that some of the increase would be made dependent on reaching business targets.

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Michael Freeman

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