Unions hit out at plans for over 200 Midland job layoffs

The Bord na Má½¹na (BNM) Group of Unions has condemned proposals to lay-off over 200 workers this week and has called on the board of the semi-state company to reject the plan.

It emerged today that between 200 and 230 workers are to be laid off by the semi-state company, following the move by the ESB not to currently operate either West Offaly Power Station in Shannonbridge or Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro, Co. Longford.

BNM Group of Unions Secretary, Willie Noone, said: “BNM management plans to avail of the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme for a company which made a €41 million profit last year. This is an abuse of the efforts of government to retain workers in employment and should be rejected by the Board of this semi-state company. 

“The BNM Group of Unions has sought alternative ways to retain workers on the payroll in a fair manner as well as clarity on employment numbers required into the future and provision for workers to exit voluntarily if they wish to. The company has given no indication that it will consider this request or that senior management take a similar reduction in earnings as workers, who face up to 50% loss of income due to the proposals.”  

He added: “The promises of reskilling, retaining or alternative employment for these workers, which was to be part of a ‘Just Transition’, have not materialised. We are calling on the BNM Board to reject the management plans and treat its workers fairly.”

The BNM Group of Unions represents members of SIPTU, Connect and Unite.