Bankrupt public transport company MRP Linna Liinid OÜ is causing outrage among former bus drivers, refusing to pay them their wages and presenting false claims, said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Kalle Klandorf (Centre).
"The management of the bankrupt bus company MRP Linna Liinid told its employees yesterday that MRP's bus drivers should not expect their January wages on 15 February as there is no money," Tallinn city government said. "At the same time, MRP's bus drivers also cannot receive redundancy payments from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa), as MRP Linna Liinid has not announced its bankruptcy and drivers have been notified that their redundancy is not planned until 5 March 2019. As of right now, the bus drivers are essentially officially employed by MRP, while there is no work."
According to the city government, this essentially leaves around 100 bus drivers in a bind — if an employee resigns and finds a new job, they will be left without redundancy payments and will likely also lose their pay.
"The City of Tallinn has fulfilled all of its responsibilities to MRP," Mr Klandorf said. "We definitely do not owe them anything and, rather, the situation is the opposite, as the debt caused by MRP to the city currently totals approximately €7 million."
According to the deputy mayor, MRP is draining its employees by promising them redundancy on 5 March, but this may also be delayed for an unknown period of time.
"MRP is also indebted to other contract partners, which means that the bus drivers are unlikely to see the money," he added.
Beginning in February, MRP fully ceased serving the company's bus routes in the capital city, which can be considered a significant breach of the agreement entered into in 2014. As a result, the City of Tallinn on 5 February handed MRP a contractual penalty of €500,000, and netted off the contractual penalty claim in question with a claim for the return of the guarantee given to MRP.
The city also refused to reimburse the rest of the guarantee paid by MRP in the amount of €200,000, and the payment of €26,400, as according to initial calculations, the early termination of the contract will run the city at least €6.6 million.
The damage in question is caused to the city by an increase in the price of the service due to the more expensive cost per kilometre of the new carrier.
"Had MRP fulfilled the contract through its end in March 2022, the city would not have encountered such expenses," Mr Klandorf explained. "The whole problem has actually arisen because MRP has failed to implement its business plan, which it set out for itself when submitting a public procurement bid in 2013."
Editor: Aili Vahtla