Wednesday 20 September 2017

Bus bosses stun staff with talk of more cuts

Passengers face the prospect of fresh disruption after the company stunned unions yesterday with talk of more cuts on top of those already signalled for its Expressway services. File photo
Passengers face the prospect of fresh disruption after the company stunned unions yesterday with talk of more cuts on top of those already signalled for its Expressway services. File photo

Alan O'Keeffe

Bus Éireann management has warned it would do "whatever is necessary" to save the company as unions vowed to block the latest round of proposed cutbacks.

Passengers face the prospect of fresh disruption after the company stunned unions yesterday with talk of more cuts on top of those already signalled for its Expressway services.

Management told unions that urgent cost-cutting was needed to avoid insolvency.

Acting CEO of Bus Éireann Ray Hernan said management was "determined to do whatever is necessary to address the current financial crisis" to give the firm a "sustainable future".

The company has proposed a raft of reforms, including a ban on all unplanned overtime.

Mr Hernan informed staff it was essential that spending cuts be implemented "to achieve immediate savings".

Savings: Bus Éireann’s acting chief executive Ray Hernan. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Savings: Bus Éireann’s acting chief executive Ray Hernan. Photo: Kieran Harnett

"However, further savings will also be required to make us more efficient and competitive," he said.

Unions are believed to be very wary of Mr Hernan's remarks about further cuts, which were not stipulated in yesterday's extensive list of proposed cost savings.

Read more: Bus Eireann chief: 'Expressway will stay' but company is facing insolvency in 18 months without changes

National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) general secretary Dermot O'Leary said: "Forcing staff into bringing the entire service to a shuddering halt by incrementally cutting terms and conditions is not conducive to finding a resolution."

He warned that cuts outside of an agreed forum would be "tantamount to a dereliction of the political responsibility which this situation demands".

Mr O'Leary said NBRU members will not co-operate with changes to current terms and practices in the absence of a forum to discuss all the issues which have contributed to the crisis at Expressway.

Irish Independent

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