Result was only achieved through mobilisation of workforce who never let up in their efforts
Unite to continue campaigning to maximise jobs safeguarded, pay and terms and conditions
October 11th: Unite regional officer for Wrightbus George Brash welcomed news that Banford (Ryse) had agreed in principal to buy the company potentially safeguarding hundreds of jobs. Continue reading
Likelihood is that if jobs go, Wright name will become synonymous with collapse of manufacturing in Ballymena
Incoming Chief Executive of Invest NI Kevin Holland must intervene and provide full start-up supports to Wrightbus
Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, Davy Thompson challenged Jeff Wright to end his unrealistic and destructive demands and put the interests of his workforce and the wider community in Ballymena first.
“It is our understanding that the offer put forward by Ryse (Bamford) remains open and on the table if the current landowner is willing to do a deal.
“This ongoing saga surrounding the sale of Wrightbus will come to a catastrophic conclusion for workers and the economy of north Antrim unless rational thinking overtakes personal gain. The big question now is whether Jeff Wright is prepared to put his father’s legacy and reputation amongst the people of Ballymena at risk.
Unite the union has received no response to request to meet with former Wrightbus owner Jeff Wright
Conflicting reports leave workers standing at factory gates bewildered about their future
October 10th: Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash, challenged both sides in the ongoing negotiations surrounding the sale of the stricken bus builder to move quickly to reach an agreement that would safeguard the livelihoods of the workers.
“This morning hundreds of Wrightbus workers and their families are standing in the rain outside the factory gates. They are standing in the hope they will hear that a deal has been done that will guarantee their jobs.
“These are workers who are already having difficult conversations with their children about what Christmas will bring.
“As these negotiations are being dragged out by horse-trading, the feeling of indignation among these workers, whose sole objective is to get back to work, is rising.
Deadline for resolution of land issue now is 10am tomorrow morning [October 10th]
Increasing numbers of workers now face prospect of going to food banks after two weeks without work
Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash, urged Jeff Wright to urgently resolve the issue of land ownership currently standing in the way of a sale of Wrightbus by the administrator
“We understand that the deadline to resolve the current impasse over the site ownership at Wrightbus is now set for 10am tomorrow morning. The issue of the land is now the only barrier to a sale that will safeguard the jobs and livelihoods of this workforce.
“But this is not just about the jobs of the workers, the wages they bring home to their families sustains thousands of jobs elsewhere in Ballymena and further afield. This is a fight to save the wider Ballymena economy which has withstood the impact of the loss of Patton group, JTI-Gallaher, Michelin and other companies in recent years. We can’t afford to see these jobs go.
Only barrier remaining to deal to reopen gates and allow workforce back to work is land ownership
Worker delegations to visit local offices of political representatives and demand they publicly back call for hand over of land
Unite Regional Officer for Wrightbus, George Brash, warned that there was now a real urgency in regards to resolving the land issue, which is now the only barrier to the factory gates reopening.
“Unite understand that negotiations for sale of the company has moved to a point of exclusivity with a single, prospective buyer. The only issue outstanding now is that of the land ownership associated with the factory site.
“Twelve hundred workers’ livelihoods, the living conditions of their families and the entire local economy now hang in the balance. We are in a situation where if the issue of the land is not resolved in the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours then the prospect of safeguarding their future will disappear.
“Unite will be seeking a direct meeting with Jeff Wright to demand he does the right thing and hand over the land so as to remove this final obstacle to a sale and the gates reopening.
“Today a delegation of workers will tour the offices of local political parties. We need more than warm words from our local political representatives – we need deeds. The workers will be demanding that all local political representatives come out publicly today and demand that Jeff Wright hand over the land.
“This is a fight for the future of the Ballymena economy – it is a fight we can win. Politicians now need to come off the sidelines and get behind this workforce to secure that future”, Mr Brash concluded.