Jobs under threat at Wrightbus

Thursday, 15 February 2018

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UP to 95 jobs are under threat at Wrightbus in Ballymena as the result of "challenging market conditions", the company has announced.
On Monday Wrightbus confirmed it has begun a statutory consultation process regarding a potential workforce reduction at its Northern Ireland facilities.
Depending on the outcome of the consultation, up to 95 job roles could be affected within the company's Wrightbus and Customcare operating divisions in Ballymena.
Based at Galgorm in Ballymena, Wrightbus employs more than 1,500 people and supplies a range of buses throughout the UK and Ireland.
Chairman of Wrights Group, Mark Nodder OBE, commented: "Wrightbus, along with the rest of the industry, is facing some very difficult conditions in its domestic market at present, with current order intake for new vehicles at relatively low levels.
“In order that the business remains competitive in the long term, it is vital that we promptly take appropriate steps to align our production capacity to projected demand in the foreseeable future.
“We have continued to invest in our product range so that it remains best in class in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental performance. The company will therefore be well positioned when market conditions improve.
 "As a privately-owned business and one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, we have not come to this decision lightly and it is done with a heavy heart. However, we operate in dynamic marketplace with competition from around the globe and we must respond and react accordingly.
“We will naturally work with the union and employee representatives to ensure that we manage the process in the most sympathetic way possible for all affected."
He added: "Given the sensitivities around this announcement, the company will not be making any further statement until the consultation process is concluded."
 Unite the union's 
Regional Officer George Brash said that the news was the latest "hammer blow for Ballymena and Antrim".
He said: "This news comes out of the blue to our union.
“We had been informed a number of days ago that there were likely to be line changes due a shortage in parts but we didn't expect any job losses.
“It will be devastating for the workforce."
North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley said, " I have been in discussions with the CEO of the company and I understand the reasons behind this decision.
“Looking forward, the company has considerably good prospects but order books must match the workforce.
“My thoughts are with those 95 workers who will be losing their jobs and who will feel this news most acutely."


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