April 15th: Responding today to the announcement that Lough Swilly Bus Company is to be wound up, Derry-based Unite Regional Officer Philip Oakes indicated that the union is working to ensure that the company’s 80 employees receive redundancy payments.
“The announcement that Lough Swilly Bus Company is to be wound up comes as a shock to workers who were told that the company would continue to operate for another month. The move will result in 80 drivers and mechanics losing their jobs. Unite has called a meeting today to inform workers of the actions we are taking.
“Unite solicitors have met with the liquidators and attended the creditors’ meetings on behalf of the employees.
“Given reports that the company has substantial debts, there are concerns for employee redundancy payments and it is likely that we will have to provide a submission to the Department for Works and Pensions to secure entitlements. Unite will do all in its power to ensure that workers receive redundancy payments and outstanding entitlements.
“The Lough Swilly Bus Company has played a vital role in the local economy, including the provision of local school runs under contract to the Department of Education. We are hopeful that another operator might be found to take on these and other commercial runs so that at least some of the jobs can be saved and a vital community service maintained.
“We are calling on political representatives to take action to encourage other operators to step in and to safeguard jobs and secure the vital public service performed by this company in the region”, Philip Oakes concluded.