Re-structuring proposals - 1985
The re-structuring arrangements may be summarised as follows:
(i) Sealink Agreement
In co-operation with Sealink, overcapacity on the Irish Sea routes has been reduced and car ferry rates have been stabilised. One B&I vessel has been withdrawn from all year round service on the Rosslare/Pembroke route and the Pembroke terminal closed. The associated reduction in costs has been achieved without loss of revenue. A joint service with Sealink is now operated between Rosslare and Fishguard. Following this agreement with Sealink, B&I has a 50% share of the Irish Sea car ferry revenue compared to 44% in 1985 and 30% five years ago.
Staff which totalled 1,829 at the end of 1985, will be reduced during 1986 by almost 400. These reductions have been achieved on a voluntary basis and with no loss of revenue. Work practice changes have also been agreed with staff, both ashore and afloat.
(iii) Relationships with Trade Unions
We now have a satisfactory working arrangement with all trade unions. Where exceptional arrangements existed, they have been re-organised with the full support and co-operation of the Unions.
(iv) Quality of Customer Service
A new standard in quality of customer service and comfort has been achieved. Both m.v. Leinster and m.v. Connacht have been completely refurbished with new restaurants, duty free shops, bars, entertainment facilities, comfort, good food, and a caring service. Specialised contractors in the Catering and Duty Free areas have been retained to assist Management in providing these new standards. A major advertising campaign was launched to bring this message to our customers. An intensive training programme has already begun and will continue throughout 1986 for staff employed in both the Tourism and Freight Divisions of the Company, with the emphasis on providing the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.
In accepting the re-structuring proposals, the Government has agreed to provide the Company with additional equity of IR£38m over the period to the end of 1989. Of this sum, IR£20m will be received in 1986. The balance of IR£18m will be paid to the Company in the years 1987, 1988 and 1989 in equal instalments on certain conditions. The principal condition is that the Company achieve a profit by the end of 1987. The reduction from the amount of IR£43m in equity needed and the deferment of IR£18m results in the Company continuing to carry interest costs greatly in excess of the costs of a well funded organisation. However, we are committed to profitability and we shall continue to do everything that is possible to achieve a positive result.
Source: B&I Line Annual Report, 1985