Bus Éireann has confirmed that it has taken legal advice regarding in what circumstances reckless trading might arise at the loss-making company, and that advice will be outlined to directors at Monday's board meeting.
At that meeting, management is expected to recommend urgent implementation of 55 cost reduction measures in a bid to stem mounting losses which, without drastic action, could see the company plunge into insolvency by May.
However, unions have repeatedly warned that any move to implement cuts without agreement will immediately trigger an indefinite all-out strike by the 2600-strong workforce.
Two months of talks at the Workplace Relations Commission failed to deliver a deal, and as of now, no further negotiations are planned.
Management is expected to write to the workforce tomorrow informing them that they will be recommending urgent implementation of 55 cost reduction measures aimed at securing savings to address the critical financial situation at the company, which lost €9.4 million last year.
In January, Bus Éireann lost €1.5 million, or almost €50,000 a day.
Losses in the first two months of 2017 are already running 41% higher than in the same period last year.
Given the urgency of the situation, company sources said that the cost cutting measures could be implemented from early next week.
However, any resulting strike would cost the company €500,000 per day, and accelerate its financial deterioration.
Unions have estimated that the cost reduction measures which include work practice changes and staff efficiencies could reduce take-home pay for some employees by up to 30%.
The company has acknowledged that take-home pay could fall by 10%.
Monday's Board meeting was originally due to sign off on the 2016 company accounts. But Bus Éireann has previously warned that the board could not do so if they did not have a credible long-term survival plan.
Asked whether the Board had flexibility regarding signing off on the accounts on Monday, a company spokesperson said that date is not a statutory deadline, but is a governance matter related to the fiduciary duty of directors.
She said the board will discuss this issue when it meets on Monday, and "decisive action will be taken".
She said that in the absence of reaching agreement with unions on cost saving measures, management will present the Board with other options to address the solvency crisis on 27 March.
Meanwhile, the Unite trade union reiterated the warning of strike action if Bus Éireann unilaterally imposes cuts.
Regional Officer Willie Quigley said management's strategy was "high-risk" and could backfire.
He urged management to use the window before the deadline of Monday's board meeting to continue engaging with unions, and to refrain from doing anything that could threaten the company's continued existence as a key player on Ireland's public transport landscape.