A victory for the sheer persistence of Wrightbus workforce

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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After the emotional rollercoaster of recent weeks, finally the workers at Wrightbus in Ballymena were handed the news they had all been praying for yesterday morning.

Just a matter of hours after hopes of a deal with the English industrialist Jo Bamford appeared to be fading, news came through Mr Bamford had in fact agreed a deal in principle to buy the Wrightbus factory and associated lands in Ballymena.

It has been a month for unexpected economic turnarounds in Northern Ireland, with Harland and Wolff also having been brought back from the brink by a sale on October 1 and all jobs at the east Belfast shipyard saved.

Just as the H&W workers were instrumental to the firm’s 11th hour reprieve by their on-site presence, so the Wrightbus workers have kept the pressure on outside the plant and through a series of rallies in Ballymena. Liquidation has been prevented.

It is wonderful news that the Wrightbus name, one of the most famous and respected in Northern Ireland business, is to live on.

However, some questions remain unanswered. More than 1,200 workers appeared to have lost their jobs when Wrightbus went into administration. Just how many of those workers, many with families to support, will ultimately get back to work at the firm under the new ownership remains unclear.