Coronavirus News: One of largest school bus companies on Long Island goes out of business

RONKONKOMA, Long Island (WABC) -- Eyewitness News has learned exclusively that one of the largest school bus companies on Long Island has officially closed its doors and laid off hundreds of its workers.

Baumann Bus Company informed its 900 bus drivers in March they were being temporarily laid off and they hoped when the school year resumed they would be able to rehire most of the drivers.

The company said because the school districts weren't paying them during the school closures, they did not have money to pay the workers.

Now, Eyewitness News has learned the family-owned company -- after more than 50 years in business -- has shut all operations.

Notices are being mailed to workers this week.

In an email to union members, Those with Teamster Local 1205 wrote:

"WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notices are being mailed to all of our members this week. All unused sick days will be paid out and COBRA letters have been mailed. Other bus companies will be buying Baumann's current contracts to continue servicing the school districts, and will need Drivers, DA's and Mechanics. "

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Dan DeCrotie, the president of Local 1205, the union representing the workers, said:

"This has been an ongoing issue since Governor Cuomo removed the 180 day requirement for a school district to maintain state aid. That state aid is supposed to be used to pay district employees and vendors. This has not happened. The lack of clarity or guidance from the NYSED regarding this issue has resulted in most districts not paying their school bus transportation companies, and now you see the results. Approximately 900 hard working members who transport the most precious cargo there is on a daily basis now find themselves unemployed."

Baumann Bus Company declined to comment to Eyewitness News.

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