There are fears that troubled bus maker Wrightbus will go into administration on Wednesday morning, leaving 1,400 employees facing an uncertain future.
In recent days it was reported that the Ballymena company – which has a turnover of over £180m and produced the famed ‘Boris Bus’ for London – was close to administration.
UUP leader and North Antrim MLA Robin Swann said today that administration now looked likely for the company.
“This is a worrying time for everyone at Wrightbus,” he told the News Letter. “The news is not looking good at this minute in time. If it goes into administration, as seems likely, the administrator needs to find a buyer to protect jobs and industry in this area. The administrator needs to be proactive with the parties that had expressed an interested in order to see what can be saved.”
An employee told the News Letter that feelings had been running high today.
“Normally the company sends out an email out about 2pm on Tuesdays about wages being paid on Thursday, but nobody received any email this week. The factory is at a standstill and anger is growing by the minute.”
He said that employees believed that the company would go into administration on Wednesday morning.
The employee claimed he witnessed workers pressing a senior executive about what was happening with their pay slips, without getting any answers.
“It looks like administration on Wednesday morning.... with JCB possibly taking it over... but when?”
Another source close to the situation said that all former bidders had definitely pulled out of talks regarding purchase of the company.
A Wrightbus spokeswoman did not offer any comment on any of the claims.
The company let 95 workers go twice last year, citing low demand for buses.