Bord na Mona must commit to keep jobs in the Midlands

Lana Fallon

Reporter:

Lana Fallon

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Bord Na Mona

Labour spokesperson on Rural Development, Willie Penrose TD has called on Bord na Mona and the Government to ensure that jobs are retained in the Midlands by establishing a task force of relevant state bodies.

Labour is also supporting the call by Unite for a Just Transition fund.

Deputy Penrose said:

"This is a sad day for the Midlands, with the announcement that 430 jobs will go. We all know that climate change meant this was coming, but the Labour Party has long called for a just transition that would protect employment in our communities.

"The loss of these Bord na Mona jobs is of serious concerns to the communities and families. Where possible these workers must be given the opportunity to re-skill.

"It is also critical that new opportunities are provided first in the areas that are losing jobs. Bord na Mona says up to 500 new jobs could be created in the Midlands in the future but we need to see more detail of what is planned.

"I am calling on the relevant Ministers to ensure the Midlands are not left behind. For too long, towns like Mullingar and Athlone have been all but ignored by the IDA. That must now change.

"Today's news has the potential to devastate Midlands communities if the Government doesn't act.

"The Government should establish a task force with relevant stakeholders including Bord na Mona, unions, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and others, to ensure that new job opportunities and the commitments made today are delivered to the Midlands.

"The Labour Party also supports the call by Unite and a group of Unions, for a Just Transition fund to harness new opportunities for new jobs, investment, re-skilling, and the potential of the green economy.

"My late colleague Cllr Mark Nugent who was a former vice-chair of Bord na Mona was someone who had the foresight that we should plan ahead for days like this and ensure that jobs were protected and developed in the Midlands. I hope that the company delivers on its commitment for 500 new jobs in counties that have long relied on it."