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Bord na Móna

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Snippet Contents:

I accept that a review is under way, which is very important. I also accept the Minister's bona fides in terms of sustaining Irish jobs. The Minister said that this is a matter of concern for him but it is a matter of huge concern for me in light of his response. He said that this is the responsibility of Bord na Móna but the Government has a responsibility to oversee the policies of Bord na Móna and how they impact on employment.
The Minister gave an assurance that there will be full engagement with the employees, that, where necessary, redeployment will be pursued and that any redundancies will, hopefully, be voluntary. That will not give confidence to any employees who may be listening in now or who may hear of this debate later. Commitments were made previously to invest more money in the plant and to award pay increases. Not alone have the workers not seen any of that, they are now seeing investment going out of the country and into another plant. I ask the Minister to ensure that not one job is lost. I also urge him to go back to Bord na Móna and ask it to look again at Kilberry and to consider the possibility of re-investing in that plant.
I have met members of the workforce who are afraid of their lives to speak out. That is wrong. They would only meet me on condition that those meetings would be confidential and their names would not be used, which I absolutely respect. It is wrong that an environment has been fostered where they are afraid to ask questions of management about the future of the plant and are afraid to have their names mentioned. That is absolutely wrong. On behalf of more than 60 workers, I ask the Minister to go back to Bord na Móna and try to renegotiate with the company.