Bus Éireann warns everything is under review

Acting CEO is appearing before the Oireachtas Transport Committee

 Bus Éireann warns everything is under review

Ray Hernan | Image: Oireachtas screenshot

The acting chief executive of Bus Éireann says he is not scaremongering when he says the entire company could go out of business.

Ray Hernan is appearing before the Oireachtas Transport Committee, after the bus operator warned it risks going insolvent.

He has warned that it is not just the commercial Expressway service that is a problem - and that cost efficiencies must be found across the business.

Cross-party politicians have heard the company lost up to €9m last year, leaving the company with just €7m.

This is just one year worth of reserve finances.

Meanwhile the Labour Court has refused to intervene in the dispute.

SIPTU representatives also attended the Oireachtas Transport Committee Tuesday to discuss the situation.

SIPTU sector organiser, Willie Noone, said: "SIPTU representatives had a constructive engagement with TDs and Senators at the Oireachtas Transport Committee concerning Bus Éireann.

"It is hoped that following the discussions the elected representatives will have a much clearer idea of the true position of the company, its workers and the services it is providing."

Unions have refused to attend direct talks with Bus Éireann management until a highly controversial survival plan involving redundancies, cuts in premium payments and out-sourcing is withdrawn.

In his remarks to the committee, Mr Hernan says he needs the support of staff or there will be no jobs at all.

"I wish to make it clear that my management team and I are not bluntly targeting our staff to fix the financial problems that exist within our organisation.

"As stated earlier, all structures and all cost drivers - including existing management structures, are being challenged and reviewed".

Mr Hernan is also appealing to unions to engage in pay talks.

"I am disappointed that unions declined our invitation to meet yesterday - and I would take this opportunity as well to again ask the unions and all staff representatives as a matter of urgency come to meet us and engage in meaningful dialogue".