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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020
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Bord na Móna employees will continue to turn up for work every day despite attempted lay-offs

Last week it was confirmed that up to 230 workers were to be removed from the company’s payroll.

Image: RollingNews.ie

UNIONS REPRESENTING Bord Na Móna workers said those who were told they were to be laid off by the company due to the Covid-19 crisis reported for work today as normal, but were turned away. 

These employees will continue to report for work each morning as usual and will expect to be paid their usual rate, they said. 

The unions have condemned the decision of the company’s management to attempt to proceed today with the removal of up to 230 workers from its payroll.

Last week it was confirmed that workers were to be laid off at the company. The Department of Environment said that the decision was taken as “a direct result of the impact of Covid 19 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.

Siptu sector organisers Willie Noone said the company has decided to “select workers unfairly and without any logic for removal from its payroll” while allowing others to access the wage subsidy scheme.

“The BNM Group of Unions has instructed workers which the company has sought to remove from the payroll to report for work as normal today,” he said.

“We are calling on the company to adhere to the government policy of using the temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS) to keep workers on payroll and in employment as much as possible.”

Unite regional officer Colm Quinlan said employees reported for work at 8am this morning and informated their managers they were available but were told there were no duties for them to perform. 

“They said they were willing to wait, but because of the climate we’re in, they werent going to wait around for the whole day so they came home at about 10am.

He said they will be back tomorrow morning and next Tuesday and will continue to attend each day. Quinlan said these workers expect to be paid as normal. 

“Even after the current Covid-19 emergency is over, communities throughout the Midlands will be facing ‘economic lockdown’ unless the incoming government reverses recent decisions by Bord na Mona and works with unions and communities to develop a viable strategy for the company and the region going forward,” he said. 

Last week, the department said the Covid-19 had come at “a difficult time for Bord na Móna and its 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. 

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