Independent Cllr Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has expressed concerns at reports that Glenveagh National Park are preparing to privatise the park’s shuttle bus service.
The shuttle between the visitors’ centre and the castle is operated by staff brought in for the season and the councillor said the move would mean the loss of seasonal work for a number of people.
“I understand that plans are well-advanced to bring in a private contractor to replace them,” he said. He said workers are concerned about the consequences, saying the move would also raise questions “about what will happen in the future to other services and jobs within the park”.
Glenveagh takes in thousands of paying visitors each year, the councillor said, adding “It cannot be necessary to resort to penny-pinching like this at the expense of workers. It is all part of the race to the bottom, where workers are squeezed out through creeping privatisations and contracting out of services. It is a very worrying trend and we need to resist it.”
He will raise the issue with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. “I would like to know who is driving the privatization agenda, whether it is coming from the department or from local management,” he said, giving his full backing to workers at Glenveagh. The department could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press.