Translink proposals for 54 compulsory redundancies points to urgent need for increased funding of public transport

Unite will seek to use consultation period to fight for every job, ensure retention of all rural routes and those servicing deprived urban communities

Davy Thompson, Deputy Regional Secretary

Westminster needs to get real on sector-specific supports for Northern Ireland’s economy

Unite Deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson responded to the public announcement that Translink was seeking 54 potential compulsory redundancies.

“Today’s announcement that Translink is potentially seeking 54 compulsory redundancies and a withdrawal from Ulsterbus Tours will come as concerning news to the entire workforce. 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.

“Unite welcomes the response of the Department for Infrastructure to the sharp financial challenges posed by the Covid downturn which has dramatically reduced Translink revenues – but the reality is that more needs to be done. Public Transport in Northern Ireland has been underfunded for years, if not decades, leaving it in a precarious state entering this crisis. If the Northern Ireland Executive and the Westminster government are serious about a green transition we need to see a sharp increase in funding.

“Today’s announcement of job-losses across the whole of the economy in Northern Ireland demonstrates yet again the need for Westminster to get real about sector specific support for jobs and skills – this must include support for public transport, alongside hospitality, tourism and manufacturing”, Mr Thompson said.

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