The Bord na Mόna (BNM) Group of Unions has condemned announcements made yesterday (Wednesday, 16th October) by the Government and company as an attempt to portray further job losses as part of a ‘Just Transition’ plan for workers. BNM Group of Unions Secretary, Willie Noone, said: “The choreographed press releases, yesterday, from Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, and BNM were an attempt to present an image of a ‘Just Transition’ occurring for workers in the company. The reality is that the number of workers in the company is being cut at an accelerated rate in a very unfair fashion. The promises of reskilling, retaining or alternative employment for these workers mentioned are not a reality. “The company has claimed that it is not relying on ESB plans for the midland power stations. This would indicate that government policy of co-fuelling these stations until 2030 has been abandoned which will result in accelerated BNM job losses. “Alternative plans, involving peat harvesting, which were announced by the company are based on assumptions that it will be able to maintain horticultural, briquette making and power generation jobs relating to Edenderry Power Station until 2025. However, there are significant obstacles to be overcome in relation to such plans. The redeployment of a further 200 positions is also reliant on discussions with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.” He added: “There has also been no indication of how existing pensions schemes at the company will be supported. This issue is a cause of huge concern to the thousands of workers in the Midlands who depend on BNM pensions. “It was very significant that the Minister and BNM did not give any indication of the numbers of employees that are projected to be working in company by 2025. Evidence to date shows that replacement work is short term, non-pensionable and paid significantly less. “There has been no attempt by the Minister or company to have a proper engagement with the BNM Group of Unions on these matters. Wide ranging negotiations must be entered into immediately.”  The BNM Group of Unions represents members of SIPTU, Connect and Unite trade unions.