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SIPTU Says Jobs Promised By Environment Minister Are Not Guaranteed

He says they took their eyes of the ball.

The Environment Minister says the closure of two power plants in the Midlands needs to be seen as an opportunity. 

Around 80 workers will be directly impacted by the ESBs announcement that the Shannonbridge and Lanesboro plants are to stop burning peat by the end of next year. 

The decision to close the peat-fired plants was made after An Bord Pleanala refused to give the ESB planning permission to continue operating with biomass at the two sites.

The Government is proposing a package of measures to help with the transition, including reskilling workers to retrofit homes or redeploying them to work on the rehabilitation of bogs. 

As well as 80 workers being directly impacted, its estimated the closure could also impact on up to 1,000 bord na mona workers. 

The Environment Minister envisions 700 jobs will be created by a series of measures designed to help with the transition. 

He also says that ESB workers are frustrated despite Governments plans to deliver jobs in the wake of two power plant closures. 

The plants at Shannonbridge in Offaly and Lanesboro in Longford support over a thousand ESB and Bord Na Mona jobs in the Midlands. 

Ministers met with workers at the Lough Ree plant this afternoon to lay out their proposals, which include reskilling and redeploying staff. 

Minister Richard Bruton says workers are unhappy with how long his proposals may take to be delivered. 

However, SIPTU says the jobs promised by the Environment Minister following the closure of two Midlands power plants are not guaranteed.  

Ministers are currently meeting with some of the 80 people that work at the peat-fired plants in Shannonbridge and Lanesboro. 

One thousand Bord Na Mona workers who supply the plants will also be impacted when they close next year. 

Minister Richard Bruton says 700 jobs will be created by reskilling workers to retrofit homes and redeploying others to work on bogs not already owned by Bord Na Mona. 

But SIPTU's Willie Noone says many questions remain unanswered.

He also believes a lack of foresight and effort from Bord na Móna and the ESB are to blame for the closure of power plants in the midlands.

He says executives at the two semi-state companies took their eyes of the ball - when they should have been working to create more sustainable opportunities for their staff:


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