Bord na Móna must commit to keep jobs in the Midlands

24 October 2018

Labour spokesperson on Rural Development, Willie Penrose TD has called on Bórd na Móna 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 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 Móna jobs is of serious concerns to communities and families. Where possible those workers must be given the option to reskill.

“It is also critical that new opportunities are provided first in the areas that are losing jobs. Bord na Móna 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 Móna, unions, the IDA, Enteprise Ireland and others, to ensure that new job opportunities and the commitments made today are delivered in the Midlands.

“The Labour Party also supports the call by Unite and the group of Unions, for a Just Transition Fund to harness new opportunities for jobs, investment, reskilling and the potential of the green economy.

“My late colleague Cllr Mark Nugent who was a former vice-chair of Bord na Móna 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 it’s commitment for 500 new jobs in counties that have long relied on it.”

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