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Turf cutter in Ireland for Bord na Mona Photo by: Google Images

Poor harvest of turf means job losses at Bord na Mona

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Turf cutter in Ireland for Bord na Mona Photo by: Google Images

One hundred and five seasonal employees at the semi-state waste and energy company, Bord na Móna, are to lose their jobs as a result of this year's poor peat harvest.

A further 90 staff are to be put onto short time working, while there will also be redeployment of some full time staff, in order to generate cost savings.

Staff were informed of the changes on Tuesday morning.

The moves follow the summer's record breaking rainfall which severely impacted on Bord na Móna's peat harvesting operations.

According to a statement from the company, the peat harvest is now 37% of the amount expected for 2012.

This means it is the worst ever harvest, and the company says it is unlikely that the shortfall can be recovered in what remains of the harvesting season that typically lasts from May to September.

As a consequence and in order to mitigate resultant losses, Bord na Móna says it has prepared a contingency plan which it intends to implement over the coming months.

The company says the plan includes "measures aimed at managing current peat stocks, revenue increases and cost control initiatives, both pay and non-pay."

The result will be that 105 seasonal employees will not be employed in the company's feedstock business over the winter months. To offset this, the company will redeploy some full time employees to the feedstock business, predominantly based in the Midlands area.

Bord na Móna says this redeployment has already commenced and will continue until March 2013.

The company says it is also introducing a short-time working initiative that will affect approximately 90 employees. It is intended that this initiative will commence at the start of October and continue until end of March 2013.

The company has moved, however, to reassure customers that it will have adequate peat supplies to continue to supply them.

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