It's time to support the peat workers. Dáil to debate 'Just Transition' Bill. Government must sit down with Trade Unions now.
Posted by Kate Ruddock on September 18, 2019 at 09:07 AM
We all know working in fossil fuels is not a job for the future. Extracting and burning peat and coal is not compatible with a planet that is safe for us to live on. This means the industry has to wind down. Fast.
In Ireland many of these jobs are in peat and coal, and the wind down is happening already. But the people and communities whose livelihoods depend on fossil fuel jobs in Bord na Móna and ESB, which are state-owned companies, are being let down badly.
This Thursday TD's will debate legislation on the future for workers in these industries. This transition can happen in a planned way, negotiated with the Trade Unions , that supports workers and builds alternative clean, future-proof jobs. Or it can be shocking and sudden. Please email your TD today and ask them to VOTE for this Bill, and to call on the Government to start discussions NOW with Trade Unions, the companies and the local communities, to deliver security and opportunities for those impacted by the transition to a low carbon economy.
It's 21 years since the Government was first advised to get out of coal and peat, because of the extremely damaging impact on local environments and the climate. In the midlands, An Bord Pleanála, and the Environmental Protection Agency are forcing the closures of peat stations because of this pollution. This is leading to sudden redundancies and job insecurity. The bottom line of the ESB and the Bord Na Móna, commercial semi-state companies, is under threat and it's the workers who are being cast aside first.
TD's have the the power to change this. They can force the Government to establish a Just Transition Taskforce to secure the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Unions have made it very clear they are up for negotiation, and Friends of the Earth are in lock step with them. Please email your TD and ask the Government to take this seriously and get involved now. In the same way they get involved when a US multinational company pulls out of Ireland, or with the urgency with which they are acting over the beef dispute.
A fair deal is possible for fossil fuel workers. The Government just needs to sit down and negotiate it.
Yours in solidarity,
Friends of the Earth
PS: Have you heard about the student strikes on Friday? The Unions are big supporters of this too. There are rallies in Dublin and Cork, and support actions all over the country. RSVP to your closest event.
PPS: Does relaxing and re-connecting with nature help you to face the mess we're in? It helps us. Join us at one of our #NatureConnects #SunRiseSeaSwim events on Saturday morning. Events in Dublin, Cork, Belfast...find your nearest, and register online.
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