Bord na Mona 'to engage with employees' on Littleton plant closure in Co. Tipperary

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@gmail.com

Bord na Mona 'to engage with employees' on Littleton plant closure in Co. Tipperary

Bord na Mona has released a statement saying it will liaise with the 69 employees facing compulsory redundancy, following yesterday’s shock announcement 

Bord na Móna is to begin an engagement process with employees following the completion of its review into its current peat briquetting operations.

The review into peat operations was prompted by the very significant decline in sales over the past few years. Increased competition, consumer trends, low oil prices, Carbon Tax and other factors have all resulted in a fall in sales in the past four years. This fall in sales prompted a review in briquetting operations that was mandated to identify a solution to the challenges that would sustain the business and jobs for the long term.

The review has concluded that to sustain the business into the future, Derrinlough factory, which employs sixty-one people, would be the optimum location for future investment to secure the future of the Fuels business. The report also concluded that the company’s second Littleton facility, would continue production for the coming season and should permanently cease production in April, 2018. There are sixty-nine permanent employees at this facility. There will also be some impact on employment in peat harvesting at Littleton where 56 people are employed. While the company is formulating a long term resource plan for these employees that will be communicated in the near future, the company confirms that no redundancies in this area are being contemplated in the current year.  Having received the review conclusions, the company has now begun a process of engagement with the Group of Unions and employees.

Bord na Móna confirms it is planning to begin large scale production of its new Biomass Briquette and will seek planning and other approvals in the coming months.  Production will be located at the Derrinlough facility.    

Employees of both briquette factories were briefed on the details of the review conclusions by Head of Bord na Móna Fuels, Eddie Scaife. Speaking after the briefing Eddie Scaife said “This has been a very difficult decision following a period of uncertainty for employees. We took a great deal of care with this review to ensure that a wide range of factors were taken into account. Briquette sales have declined significantly in the past few years as we have encountered unprecedented market, financial and regulatory challenges. Ultimately we had to make a decision that ensured we had a business that could survive these challenges and safeguard the biggest number of briquetting jobs.”