€150,000 bill for Bord Gais office chairs
BORD Gais has spent more than €150,000 on state-of-the-art chairs for its new headquarters, just four weeks after increasing its prices by 12pc.
Some 400 Herman Miller Aeron chairs, which carry a price tag of about €650 plus VAT, were delivered to the company's new offices on Warrington Place in Dublin's city centre yesterday.
But a spokesman for the company insisted that Bord Gais had secured a significant discount on its bulk order and that estimates putting the cost at close to €300,000 were "wildly inaccurate".
The Herman Miller Aeron, which features a sculpted mesh design, was the signature chair of the dot.com bubble of the 1990s and has even gained a place in the Modern Museum of Art as a classic of its genre.
However, ergonomic experts have questioned how well it is designed for an eight-hour workday.
The Bord Gais spokesman said he could not say how much the chairs had cost as it was commercially sensitive information.
The suppliers MJ Flood were selected following a tendering process, he said, adding that the company had "squeezed the price to the limit".
Despite their top-of-the-range office chairs, Bord Gais employees are claiming disturbance money to compensate them for the change to their new office building.
Even though the new premises are less than two miles from the old base in Foley Street, unions are currently seeking compensation for additional travel time.
The talks are ongoing but are unlikely to be resolved internally and are expected to be referred to the Labour Court.
While the dispute continues, workers are still due to move into their new home on Warrington Place next week.