Coronavirus: Ballymena firm Wrightbus to cut up to 125 jobs – BBC News

A completed Bus Eireann bus leaves the Wrightbus plant in Ballymena, Northern Ireland

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Liam McBurney/PA

Wrightbus, the Ballymena bus builder, is slicing as much as 125 employees as a response to the financial slowdown.

It’s going to make as much as 35 everlasting workers redundant in addition to lowering company employees by as much as 90 staff “over a phased interval”.

The agency’s house owners say it would nonetheless have 10 occasions the workforce it had once they purchased it out of administration final yr.

Wrightbus’ chief government mentioned the redundancies “are a mandatory measure”.

“After we saved Wrightbus there have been solely about 50 workers, and since then now we have grown the workforce to 700,” mentioned chief government Buta Atwal.

“The choice has been taken to trim the workforce to the scale we consider we might want to see us via to the top of the yr.

“The redundancies are a mandatory measure given the financial slowdown because of the present coronavirus disaster.”

Mr Atwal mentioned a big a part of the workforce had been furloughed however round 100 engineers, designers and gross sales employees had continued working via the disaster.

He added that the goal was nonetheless to have round 1,000 folks working the agency by the top of 2021 and “we hope to be ready to re-hire a few of those that have been made redundant”.

‘Very disappointing’

Responding to the announcement, the North Antrim MP Ian Paisley known as on the federal government to deliver ahead the hydrogen bus technique for the UK.

“It is rather disappointing that Wrightbus have been pressured to announce redundancies,” mentioned Mr Paisley.

“Because the firm was taken over the corporate has been rising the workforce steadily, however I share the corporate’s hope that their long-term imaginative and prescient can nonetheless be achieved.

“There are apparent fears in regards to the longer-term influence of the Covid-19 outbreak on the broader Northern Eire economic system and that such redundancies will escalate sooner or later.”

Mr Paisley added that bringing ahead the “much-needed hydrogen bus technique” could be “transformative” for the trade and in addition assist in the achievement of environmental targets.

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