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Fears over job losses at Translink as transport company reveals that it is looking to make savings of £20m

Firm says public transport has been hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

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Translink say its frontline services such as a the 212 bus service between Derry and Belfast will not be affected by today's announcement.

There are fears over the scale of potential job losses after Translink revealed that it is looking to reduce its costs by £20m.

The company said the cuts were necessary due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Translink said it is proposing to withdraw from the Ulsterbus Tours business which operates trips all over Ireland and Europe.

However, it has insisted that 'frontline services' will be maintained.

Many of the Ulsterbus tours depart from the Foyle Street bus station in Derry.

However, it is as yet unclear if any of the local Translink staff will lose their jobs.

Chris Conway, Translink’s Group Chief Executive, said the pandemic has left public transport globally in a 'very challenging funding situation'.

"Translink welcomes the response from the NI Executive and Department for Infrastructure with emergency Covid-19 funding, however it is important to recognise the impact that Covid-19 will have on revenues for some time to come.

"We are targeting savings of £20m and as such, we have had to make some very difficult decisions.

“We aim to reduce the impact to employees as far as possible and are committed to maintaining front line services.

"As a result, these changes will have a minimal impact on frontline operational employees’ jobs, who continue to deliver scheduled bus and train services.

"However, in driving improvements to internal processes, we anticipate it is likely there will be a number of redundancies in management and overhead functions.

“We will be starting a process of consultation with employees and trade unions over the coming days.

“Public transport will have a vital role to play in Northern Ireland’s green and responsible recovery and this review, alongside wider Government support will ensure we can deliver on this”, Mr Conway concluded. 

The Unite union's Deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson claimed that there would be 54 compulsory redundancies  as a result of today's announcement by Translink.

"This is the first time in living memory that we face the threat of compulsory redundancies in Translink and reflects the particular challenges posed by the Covid pandemic against the backdrop of the long-term underfunding of public transport.

“Unite will enter consultation with Translink on this proposal with the aim of fighting for every job and countering the ripple effects that are likely to arise from the decision to withdraw from Ulsterbus Tours.

"We wish to make clear at the outset that our engagement is predicated on no impact to the provision of rural services or socially-vital services to deprived urban communities."

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