Northern Ireland

Wrightbus workers hold rally to save their jobs

Wrightbus workers at rally on Friday 4 October Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption About 1,200 jobs were lost after Wrightbus failed to find a new owner

Several hundred Wrightbus workers, who were made redundant when the firm collapsed last month, are holding a rally to try to save their jobs.

They walked from Ballymena town centre to the Wrightbus factory site in Galgorm.

About 1,200 jobs were lost after the company failed to find a new owner.

The Unite union has said four bidders are interested in buying the company: one from the UK, one from China, and two from the European Union.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Unite the union said Wrightbus had a "world-class workforce producing a world-class product"

Steve Turner of Unite said Friday's rally was about "bringing our community together".

The Wrightbus workers were joined by employees of Harland & Wolff, whose jobs were saved by a £6m deal from London-based energy firm, InfraStrata.

Mr Turner said he wanted to see the shipyard workers' "fantastic victory" replicated at Wrightbus.

"We need the skilled workforce back in work delivering busses, that's what we do best," he said.

Speaking about the four potential buyers, he said: "This is a world-class workforce producing a world-class product and you could do no better, anywhere, than purchasing Wrightbus right now".