Baumann Bus Company goes out of business due to coronavirus
Ronkonkoma-based Baumann Bus Company is going out of business due to the coronavirus.
The unions representing drivers for the bus company told their members that Baumann's attorney confirmed that the bus company is going out of business. In addition, all employees have been laid off.
The bus company is one of the Island's largest school bus companies.
Debra Hagan, who represents 220 of the employees who worked for Baumann Bus Company, says their buses service the Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Valley Stream, Malverne, East Meadow, Merrick, Bellmore, Roslyn, Hewlett-Woodmere and Long Beach school districts.
In March, the company told its bus drivers they were being temporarily laid off because school districts weren't paying during the school closures. They had hoped to resume operations and rehire drivers.
Theresa Martin is among the company's 1,400 employees who are out of a job -- she was a driver with the company for 36 years. The closure affects not only drivers, but mechanics and driver's assistants who worked at Baumann and Sons, Baumann's Bus Company, Acme Bus Company and Brookset Bus Corp.
The union representing 900 more of the employees says it was caught off-guard.
"The company did not communicate with us until Monday afternoon, we were officially informed that they're shutting their doors for good," says Dan DeCrotie, president of Teamsters Local 1205. "We expected it to reopen when the schools came back, but obviously he has expenses he's not able to pay."
DeCrotie is pointing the finger at numerous school districts, saying they have stopped honoring their contracts and paying bus companies. He says about 50% of the districts are not paying.
The unions have written a letter to the governor, asking for him to step in before more companies close and others lose their jobs.
News 12 reached out to both the Nassau and Suffolk's Superintendents Council - but so far has not heard back.
Attorneys for Baumann would not comment on the company's closure.
READ: Letter to Gov. Cuomo