Calls for national all-day strike to support 150 Longford Bord na Móna workers who are to be laid off

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Bord na Mona

There are calls this morning for a national all-day strike by semi state bodies in support of up to 150 workers at Bord na Mona who are to be laid off

Every single semi state body in the country are being urged to down tools to support 150 Bord na Mona workers in Longford on foot of a decision by the ESB to suspend operations at its power plant in Lanesboro.

The firm confirmed is it to lay off 78 seasonal workers with immediate effect and temporarily lay off another 72 permanent workers from next Thursday.

In a statement, Bord na Mona said the decision by the ESB to cease operations over difficulties in complying with its environmental licence obligations as had a "direct and adverse impact" on its own day to day affairs at its nearby Mountdillon plant including peat supply, bog operations and maintenance.

Local Cllr Mark Casey described the announcement as "dreadful" and said the time had come for other unions to unite behind those affected by this morning's decision.

"Both Fianna Fáíl and Fine Gael governments have, for years, tried to pull back the power of unions," he said.

"What this requires now is a national all-day strike from all semi-states to support these workers because these decisions are being taken by faceless, pen pushing people up in Dublin."

Cllr Casey also warned of the likelihood of similar job cuts being made at the ESB unless a remedy to the current impasse can be realised.

Fellow local representative and Fine Gael Cllr Ger Farrell said he has been in touch with Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys office and called for immediate and swift government action over the issue.

"It is devastating for some local families who contribute to the local economy," he said.

"This is an ESB versus EPA problem and the first people affected are the Bord na Móna workers.

"I would be calling the Government to intervene and set up a meeting with the ESB and the EPA to try and resolve this as soon as possible because the workers don't really know what is happening."