Laid off Wrightbus workers ‘face struggle to house families’

The Canary

Wrightbus workers face a struggle to house their families, one former employee has said.

Ryan Price, a supervisor aged 29, is married and his two children share a bedroom in a rental property.

He was bidding to buy a house and had saved a deposit but will find it difficult to access state benefits because of his savings.

The musician picked up his guitar and sang a song by Irish performer and social conscience Christy Moore about the impact of factory closures on ordinary men.

Mr Price said: “A lot of people are down and out, it is not just us, it affects other companies too.

“Morale still seems good but it maybe has not sunk in for a lot yet.

“We will know more in two weeks’ time when we don’t get another pay cheque in.”

Robert Thompson, 28, was a multi-skilled technician and line operative.

The former joiner was sent to work for Wrightbus in England just a day before it entered administration.

He had to fund his return and living expenses from his own pocket.

Mr Thompson said: “Someone is bound to have known this was coming, why send us?

“We have been assured they did not know.”

He expressed optimism about the prospect of a deal.

“I loved the firm and the job I was doing, it was a good company to work for.

“Going from building sites into that I did not think I would gel but I loved it, the guys I worked with.

“It has not really sunk in yet.

“I am angry, upset, disappointed, but still hopeful that something can be reached over the next couple of weeks.”

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  • Show Comments
    1. When my brother’s wife was laid off suddenly from the food factory she worked at the management said the work’s bus would drop them off that afternoon at the dole office. She said she won’t get anything anyway because her husband was working, but she was advised to go anyway because of NI payments and so forth. She said as she waited behind one former colleague to be seen she heard the adviser say to the man, “I’ve got to ask you this. What are you doing to look for work?” Exasperated the man replied, “When I got up at half-past four this morning I had a fucking job!”

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