Threat of industrial action at Bord na Móna plant

Bord na Móna has been accused of locking out workers, amid claims it has tried to impose unilateral changes to work practices at a base in the Midlands.

The Bord na Móna craft group of unions has called on the company’s chief executive, Gabriel D’Arcy, to intervene in a dispute which has arisen at its works at Blackwater in west Offaly.

The group warned it may be forced to ballot for industrial action if the problem escalates. The group’s spokesperson, Tom Fitzgerald of Unite, claimed the dispute had been triggered by the company’s decision to lock out workers after they signalled their unwillingness to accept unilateral changes to their contracts of employment.

The changes imposed by management are directed at 13 staff at the Blackwater facility, but unions have warned it could affect up to 200 staff.

A spokesman for Bord na Móna said: “The company can confirm that difficulties have emerged, where a small number of employees have refused to adopt using the new IT system, resulting in a suspension of their employment. The company is urging all parties involved to act in accordance with the long-established grievance procedure so that normal working can resume.”


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