Donegal county councillor Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has reacted strongly to claims from the Department of Heritage that the partial privatisation of shuttle bus services at Glenveagh National Park will result in job creation.
The Independent councillor asked if more jobs will now be available where will they be advertised so that people can apply?
“The truth is that there will be no new jobs. The introduction of a private contractor opens the door to the gradual privatisation of the entire service.
“It is a cruel deception from the Department to raise hopes of new jobs in our county. They say that there are currently two full time and four part time staff at Glenveagh operating the present bus service, but have failed to mention that there is an additional standby driver used at peak periods in the months of July and August. This driver has already been told his services are no longer required. He will be replaced by the private contractor.
“There are fears that as staff retire or leave, they will not be replaced, but that the privatised element will be expanded, a process of privatisation by stealth. This is what has effectively happened to the catering service in Glenveagh. After the bus staff, the garden staff could be next,” he claimed.
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said he raised the question of where the privatisation agenda was coming from.
“Was it from local management or the Department? The deceptive statement from the Department makes it clear it is coming from them. It is idealogically driven.
“Where is the cost saving in replacing a seasonal bus driver who is on the minimum wage? It can only make sense if there is a more widespread agenda to save money through wholesale privitisation. I stand over my statement of last week that this will lead to job losses.
“I remain totally opposed to this race to the bottom and offer the workforce in Glenveagh my full support.”