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Anger at Wrightbus attempt to defend poor equal employment record

14 June, 2006

Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has accused management at Wrightbus of attempting to defend the indefensible after they claimed that 'as far as they were concerned' they had done all they could to address the massive under representation of Catholics in the workforce.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Wrightbus would do well to try and tackle the shameful under representation of Catholics in its workforce rather than try to defend the indefensible.

"The rather crude attempt to portray this is a skills shortage problem treads a very thin line. If there are skills shortages then Wrightbus know that it makes sense to work in partnership with the local community and particularly with schools and training colleges to develop the skills base they require to be a world leader.

"Sinn Féin are prepared to work with Wrightbus to help them remove the unenviable label of being 'the worst employer of Catholics in the North'.

"I also want to reiterate again that this welcome investment and the prospect of additional jobs will have a significant impact on the local economy. However, this opportunity for new employment should be seized upon to make the workforce of Wrightbus more representative of the local community.

"It time the British Government looked at the situation with Wrightbus considering the investment they get from the public pocket. Sinn Féin will continue to press the Irish Government to reassess their business relationship with Wrightbus. We will also be looking to talk to other companies who have a relationship with the company to ensure that there is real progress in addressing the under representation within its workforce." ENDS

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