Workers Rights for WrightBus Workers!
Several hundred Workers who were made redundant following the collapse of the troubled Wrightbus company in Ballymena gathered earlier today at a church where ex-director Jeff Wright is a pastor.
As workers and their families gathered close to the church, many former workers tied protest banners and signs to the perimeter fence of the church condemning millions of pounds in donations made from the owners company. Union representatives and family members were tshirts calling on Wrightbus to 'Save Our Jobs' another placard held aloft read 'Workers Rights for Wrightbus Workers!' News broke last week that an estimated 1,200 jobs would be lost as the Ballymena-based producer of the Routemaster bus used in London went into formal administration. It is thought that a possible 2,000 jobs could be in danger effectively devastating in the engineering company’s supply chain.
As the protest got under way Wrightbus boss and founder Sir William Wright spoke to several workers at the gates before returning to church as many more gathered. It is believed that the parent company of Wrightbus, Cornerstone Group, donated over £16m to the charity between the years 2012 and 2017.
Quite a sizeable chunk of those donations was said to have helped fund the vast complex that is Green Pastures, the evangelical church led by Jeff Wright. A member of the Industrial Workers of the World who took part in today's demonstration at the Ballymena Green Pastures church spoke as workers dispersed stated: "The roughly 700 working men and women gathered here painted a very sobering picture. Behind the public displays of anger aimed at Wright for his mismanagement of the company, there is a palpable longing for answers, both for how the company was allowed to fail and if it can yet be salvaged."
What is for sure the coming days and weeks ahead will be a traumatic one as the impact of these job losses will be felt beyond the factory floor. Just like the politicians, the bosses handwringing will do little to ease the pain of impending unemployment lines which have already been increasing in the area.
ITV News clip: https://www.facebook.com/UTV/videos/2237743136480995/