100 bus staff in fear for jobs

Bus Driver, Ian Earles.

Bus Driver, Ian Earles.

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MORE than 100 transport workers fear they will lose their jobs after a bus firm gave up its Wearside operation.

Birmingham-based Veolia Transport (VT), which has a depot in Hetton, has transferred some staff to a rival firm which has taken over contracts to provide services on behalf of National Express.

But others are set to lose their jobs when contracts with North East public transport body Nexus run out at the end of the month.

Bus driver Ian Earles is one of those affected.

“All the National Express contracts have gone to yourbus,” he said. “The people left are those on the Nexus contracts.

“The contracts finish on July 29 and we’re all out of work. We are all having our consultation interviews now.”

The 46-year-old dad-of-two added: “Everybody is devastated.

“There are 85 drivers, 17 fitters and cleaners – they are all being made redundant.

“I have got two young kids and a mortgage.”

He claimed the situation had been aggravated by a lack of information about the situation.

“Everybody is absolutely gutted because nobody came along and told us what was going on. We just feel like we have been kicked in the teeth.”

A spokesman for Veolia confirmed the firm’s contracts with National Express had been take over by another company, with staff affected by the move transferring to the new operator on the same terms and conditions.

“I can confirm that the National Express contract operated from Veolia Transport’s Durham Depot has been awarded to yourbus, having been offered for re-tender at the mutual agreement of VT and National Express.

“All employees assigned to the National Express contract were covered by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and transferred to yourbus on June 27.

“The company is currently conducting a review of the remainder of the services and contracts operated from the depot, with our priority to secure the ongoing employment for as many employees as possible.”

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