Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has written to the Chairman of Bord na Móna after it emerged that a number of workers at Bord na Móna’s subsidiary company, Anua, are being made redundant.  The redundancies were approved by management at a board meeting last month without any consultation with the workers.

Deputy Cowen commented, “The compulsory redundancies which management at Bord na Móna is trying to force through are unprecedented and are not compatible with good industrial relations practices.  The company’s decision to by-pass the ongoing Labour Relations Commission and push through compulsory redundancies demonstrates a blatant disregard for the State’s primary industrial relations mechanisms.

“The fact that management has sanctioned these redundancies without any negotiation with the unions or the LRC sends out a worrying signal as to what could be in store further down the road, and has understandably irritated the unions, which are now discussing the possibility of industrial action.

“Not only are the 10 redundancies themselves unacceptable, workers are extremely concerned about their future work practices and job security.  This restructuring plan has been the subject of sensitive negotiations for a number of months, but this latest move by management has threatened the relationship between workers and management.  The Labour Relations Commission has always been the traditional forum used to negotiate agreements, but by by-passing the LRC and approving these redundancies at a board meeting without any consultation with workers, a dangerous precedent has been set.

“The Energy Minister has remained stoney silent on this issue over the past few months.  Is he going to continue to stand by while a semi state company side steps the most recognised industrial relations body in the country and force through its own decisions?  Minister Alex White cannot continue to sit on the side-lines, as this dispute plays out.  He must intervene in the situation and ensure that workers at Bord na Móna and its subsidiaries are protected”.