Wright Group bus builders say 95 jobs may go

Lack of new orders from UK the cause

A Wright Group bus. The chairman of the group, Mark Nodder, has said bus operators are either postponing or delaying ordering new buses because of “continuing uncertainty” in the UK which has had a knock on effect for the Northern Ireland business.

A Wright Group bus. The chairman of the group, Mark Nodder, has said bus operators are either postponing or delaying ordering new buses because of “continuing uncertainty” in the UK which has had a knock on effect for the Northern Ireland business.

 

The Ballymena bus builders Wright Group has warned that 95 jobs are likely to go in Northern Ireland because of a lack of new orders from the UK.

The chairman of the Wright Group, Mark Nodder, has said bus operators are either postponing or delaying ordering new buses because of “continuing uncertainty” in the UK which has had a knock on effect for the Northern Ireland business.

The Wright Group said it was therefore moving to “align workforce requirements with our near term order book”.

It is the second redundancy programme announced by the Ballymena firm in the last four months, in February it also blamed “challenging market conditions” as the reason for 95 job losses.

Final shutdown

Unions say the latest round of job cuts is another blow for both Wright Group’s workforce and Ballymena which is just coming to terms with the final shutdown of both the JTI-Gallaher and Michelin factories in the town.

But Unite’s regional officer George Brash said it is also “deeply sceptical” about the timing of the latest job losses.

“Although we have yet to hear formally from management to confirm numbers but at this stage we understand from our reps that they have been told that the jobs are set to go in En-drive, the Wright Group [bus arm] and in Customcare.”

Unite has questioned where the Wright Group is “purposefully staggering job losses” in order to avoid triggering a 90 day consultation period with trade unions.