Stop cuts at Translink

Information accidentally released by the Department of Regional Development to the Belfast Newsletter on the 7th August has exposed how the Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy intends to slash local bus services and jobs.

The Freedom of Information request scandalously exposed how savage cuts in bus services will be introduced on 1st September.

 

It has now been admitted that bus services will be lost along with at least 70 jobs. 10% of managers are to be cut. Translink also plan to force many drivers to give up their full- jobs for part-time jobs. GMB, the union for staff at Translink has stated at least 50 full-time drivers will be moved to part-time working.
Translink has already slashed hundreds of jobs in recent years through voluntary redundancies. It is clear now the Assembly Executive and Translink will not hesitate in forcing through compulsory redundancies to meet demands for savings.
The company has released details that routes “right across the network” from Ulsterbus through to Metro and transport services for schools and the disabled.
These cuts will have a devastating impact on all bus services for those in most need such as the elderly, school children, rural communities and the poor. GMB regional organiser Michael Mulholland has stated “the full impact is not yet clear but this is a further attack on public services.”  What is clear is local people that rely on bus services to carry out daily activities will be left in social isolation.
The document also revealed that Translink intends to give up parts of Belfast City centre to “private tour operators”.  While making cuts to public transport, the Assembly Executive wants to liberalise transport by allowing private operators to compete – opening the way for the potential privatisation of Translink.
Cuts to Translink services must now be vigorously resisted. The trade unions must not accept any cuts in services, fight redundancies and protect jobs. A campaign of industrial action combined with community defence of bus services now needs to be discussed and planned.
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