Talks aim to save jobs of 70 Bord na Móna workers
Bord na Móna has agreed to suspend the lay-off of all permanent staff at its Mount Dillon operation ahead of talks with unions next week.
The State peat firm announced on Thursday that it was suspending all peat operations at Mount Dillon, Co Longford, and placing 148 full and part-time workers on immediate unpaid leave.
It said the move was as a result of the ESB's decision to suspend operations at its peat-fired Lough Ree power plant.
The Bord na Móna group of trade unions said the move breached existing arrangements and it warned that industrial action was being considered to defend workers and their jobs.
However last night it emerged that, following discussions with the unions, management agreed to suspend the letters of lay-off sent to permanent staff.
"Local discussions will take place next week with a view to maximising the number of workers who can remain in employment," said Siptu sector organiser Willie Noone.
"The outcome also confirms that all parties are committed to the recent collective agreement made between the group of unions and the company," he added.
Mr Noone previously pointed out that a collective agreement, which was only five-weeks-old, clearly said that engagement must take place with the unions ahead of any job losses.
There are some 70 permanent staff at Mount Dillon with the rest seasonal workers.
Bord na Móna said it had no choice but to seek the lay-offs given the decision by the ESB to take the Lough Ree station offline since July 5 because of difficulties with its environmental licence obligations.