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Sinn Féin concern at low numbers of Catholics at Wrightbus Limited

25 January, 2005

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, has said that the employment record of Wrightbus Limited is 'absolutely appalling' when it comes to religious equality within the workforce. His comments follow the publication of the Equality Commission's Profile of the Six County workforce, which shows Wrightbus up as being one of the worst Private Sector employers of Catholics in the north.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The recent publication of Equality Commission figures on Employees in the Private Sector is a clear indictment of Wrightbus Ltd, one of Ballymena's biggest employers, which is in the same league as Harland and Wolfe in Belfast. For members of the Catholic community to make up under 6% of the workforce in one of the biggest employers in Ballymena is absolutely scandalous and certainly does not reflect the religious makeup of the council area which is over 20% Catholic according to the last Census.

"Wrights has always been considered as a cold house for nationalists in Ballymena and these figures certainly reflect this. I have written to the Irish Government regarding this situation and will be asking them if they are aware that the company that provides vehicles for Bus Eireann has not addressed the extreme level of inequality that exists in their workforce." ENDS

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