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An aerial view of Moneypoint ESB generating Station. Photograph by John Kelly.

Moneypoint workers likely to reject new proposals

WHILE a document is going to Moneypoint workers with proposals for major cost cutting, union members at the plant are
very likely to reject it.

It is understood that a general meeting of staff, with union officials attending, took place at the plant last Friday.

A substantial document has been completed but one worker said that its contents are “just sh*te” from an employee’s perspective and that workers will not accept its terms.

A ballot is due to conclude by early September but it is expected that these initial proposals will be rejected comprehensively.

One of the major flaws in it, from the workers’ perspective, is a perceived lack of clarity about how people would be selected for redundancy.

The ESB plans to lay off around 106 workers later this year, retaining just 86. However, there are fears that under the current document, people who wish to stay could be made compulsorily redundant and people who would like to avail of severance may not have the opportunity to do so.

It is understood that the terms of severance for those leaving would be similar to a voluntary severance package that was in place in 2012.

Some contractors who had been employed at the site previously have been brought back recently to work on an overhaul but that is set to come to a conclusion in the coming days.

Well-paid and stable employment isn’t that freely available in West Clare and the loss of so many jobs is seen as a major blow to the economy of the area.

All power generation from coal at Moneypoint is set to cease by 2025.

The ESB has said it will not comment on the detail of cost cutting at the plant until it has been worked through with staff and unions. However, in a statement last month, it said that for the plant to continue post-2025, adjustments must be made. “ESB is currently examining technology options for Moneypoint beyond 2025 that will deliver large-scale electricity generation, fuel diversity and security of supply. The development of replacement generation for Moneypoint, however, is contingent on a project winning an open auction for a capacity contract and on being commercially viable.”

Owen Ryan

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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