Boris Johnson must nationalise to safeguard Ballymena jobs and skills and socially-necessary productive capacity at Wrightbus

Unite 008Unite warns of devastating consequences of closure to Ballymena and wider economy if business is allowed to fail

Unite Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock confirmed that his union had been informed that the Ballymena bus manufacturer Wrightbus had entered administration and that workers had been told they faced immediate redundancy as a result.

“Unite officials have been engaging closely with our team of shop stewards in Wrightbus over many weeks to attempt to safeguard a future for the struggling bus manufacturer.

“This morning Wrightbus entered administration as all potential bidders had withdrawn from a sales process. The 1,300 workers employed by Wrightbus across EnDrive, Metallix, Composites sections now face the prospect of immediate redundancy.

“Our Regional Officer George Brash is currently addressing a mass meeting of the workforce to decide their next steps. They will have the full support of our union in whatever decision they take.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made great play about how he stands strong for British industry. He must now intervene to safeguard these workers’ jobs and skills and a future for Ballymena by nationalising this business – there’s no EU state aid rules that could prevent it.  

“Ballymena has already lost thousands of decent, union jobs with the closure of JTI-Gallaher and Michelin in recent year, and most recently 86 jobs at Blackbourne  – we face the prospect of further devastation should this closure be allowed to proceed.

“Wrightbus is the last UK company capable of producing double-decker buses – indeed buses with advanced renewables technology – needed by commuters in Belfast, Dublin and London and vital to any vision of a transition to a sustainable future. We call on Boris Johnson to ‘take back control’ and nationalise to invest in securing UK bus manufacturing capacity?”, Mr Pollock said.

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