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Are you comfy on your stated-owned Bord Gais seat?

BORD Gais customers may need to sit down after hearing how the company has splashed out more than €150,000 on luxury office chairs just four weeks after announcing a 22pc price increase.

The semi-State company bought 380 Herman Miller Aeron chairs for its headquarters which carry a price tag of in excess of €650 plus VAT.

To add insult to injury, workers are demanding thousands of euro "disturbance money" before they will sit on the expensive new seats in the company's new offices on Warrington Place in Dublin city centre.

A Bord Gais spokesman has refused to disclose the exact cost of the chairs, arguing it is commercially sensitive.

The suppliers, MJ Flood, were selected following a tendering process and the spokesman said the Bord Gais had "squeezed the price to the limit".

The company denied they had paid the catalogue price of $1,227 (¤850) for each chair.

The luxury office chair with its sculpted mesh design was considered a signature chair of the dot.com bubble of the 1990s and even gained a place in the Modern Museum of Art as a classic of the genre.

To sit on the chairs, staff, who are paid an average of €67,000 a year, are demanding disturbance money to move from their Foley Street office -- just 10 minutes and less than two miles away -- to their new location in Warrington Place.

Unions are seeking compensation for additional travel time and talks are ongoing, but are unlikely to be resolved internally. They are expected to be referred to the Labour Court.







Increase

Workers are due to move to their new home next week. The purchase comes as the energy regulator granted Bord Gais permission to increase prices by 22pc. The company had applied for a 28pc increase.

Just three weeks ago the company disclosed that almost 115,000 customers were in arrears and official figures confirmed that 1,600 customers had their gas cut off in the first half of this year.

csheehy@herald.ie


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