Paisley calls for apology over Wrightbus

Gonzo’s thread on Ballymena was eventually dominated by speculation, sparked originally by a statement from North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan, that Ballymena based Wrightbus discriminated against Catholics. In the Newsletter, Ian Paisley Junior has refuted the allegation citing employment figures that seem to contradict the two per cent Catholic employment figure mentioned by McGuigan. Paisley went on to suggest it had been an attempt to put in jeopardy a multimillion pound contract Regional Transportation Commission in Southern Nevada.

On Friday, I met with the industrialist William Wright and discussed the employment situation. The facts are as follows: From 2004 to 2006, the Protestant workforce has declined from 93.2 per cent to 81.7 per cent. That’s a 10 per cent decline in the Protestant employees. During the same period, the Roman Catholic workforce has increased from 4.6 per cent to 14 per cent. The population of Ballymena roughly breaks down 80 per cent Protestant and 20 per cent Catholic, thus making the employment record of the company in line with local population requirements. Charges of discrimination simply just don’t add up.”

,

  • Daisy

    “The population of Ballymena roughly breaks down 80 per cent Protestant and 20 per cent Catholic, thus making the employment record of the company in line with local population requirements”

    Can/do only people from Ballymena work in Ballymena?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Surely this would be a situation that the Equality Commission could resolve with a one-line press releass, which would surely be in everyone’s interests. Why don’t they do it?

  • Briso

    IP Jr: From 2004 to 2006, the Protestant workforce has declined from 93.2 per cent to 81.7 per cent. That’s a 10 per cent decline in the Protestant employees.

    Errrmmm no. Thats a 10 per cent decline in the PROPORTION OF Protestant employees.

  • pith

    And what about the NIO/BBC plot to undermine another multi-million pound business – the DUP?

  • aquifer

    Sinn Fein’s input smacks of sectarian begrudgery.

    I think these exciting vehicles are destined for Las Vegas?

    The company seems to be progressing to a very balanced workforce, especially given that protestants have often been overrepresented in engineering, as catholics have been in the law and in the licensed drinks trade.

    Increased jobs at this firm would create more jobs for catholics, not less.

    Are Sinn Fein hostile to social progress?

    Bet on it.

    Their future rests on division and dispair.

  • Glen Taisie

    Philip McGuigan is Adams’ spokesperson on “TRUTH RECOVERY”.

    That is why Philip was SILENT on

    Scappaticci, Donaldson, Robert McCartney,McGinley, Niall Binead,Ted Cunningham, Slab Murphy, Bart Fisher et al.

    Are we lucky to have someone who isn’t afraid to speak out against injustice regardless the source.

    Name the Jack Nicholson film :

    “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH !!!”

  • eranu

    SF at their work again, trying to bad mouth anything good in NI. in this case a sucessful company. they just cant stand to see anything in NI suceed.
    isnt there an old saying along the lines of “if you havent got anything good to say, then dont say anything!”

  • Greenflag

    Paisleyite economics for beginners 🙁

    Ian Paisley, however, said it was “absolutely laughable”to suggest that his party would allow the loss of office allowances and wages to influence its judgement “on whether Republicans have met the democratic test for government”.

    “Even if we were down and out and had no money whatsoever, we would not be selling the country short for the sake of a pound,” he said.

    “Peter Hain has demonstrated his filthy backmailing tactics and he will find we will never bow the knee to money and be slaves to the British government.”

    Presumably then Mr Paisley will not be upset if HMG decides to withold the 6 billion pound subvention to Northern Ireland that the DUP men of ‘principle’ are not slaves to? As for Paisley’s remark on not selling Northern Ireland short for the sake of a pound we have now established Paisley’s bottom price for the Northern Ireland sell out .

    Any advance on one pounds ? Two pounds anyone ? Thought not .

  • Nevin

    [i]From 2004 to 2006, the Protestant workforce has declined from 93.2 per cent to 81.7 per cent.[/i]

    That’s a fairly dramatic change for such a short time period. Has there been an influx of migrant workers?

  • WrightsCaughtOut

    Nevin,

    Good spot.

    They are using an increase in foreign labour to claim a less sectarian inmbalanced company.

    Didn’t take long to out this piece of creative accountancy by Wrights and Paisley.

    They still don’t employee adequate numbers of Ballymena Catohlics but appear willing to use foreign Catholics for low wage menial jobs.

  • TAFKABO

    Ah, so now they’re the wrong sort of catholics?

    You couldn’t make it up.

  • Nevin

    WCO, is it possible for companies to put a more favourable spin on their employment statistics by using employment agency staff?

    An agency could supply Protestants to a mainly Protestant workforce and Catholics to a mainly Catholic workforce and yet sort of present itself as an equal opportunities employer and the company could say it gets most of its staff from an ‘equal opportunities’ agency.

    Or am I being too cynical?

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    TAFKABO
    “Ah, so now they’re the wrong sort of catholics?

    You couldn’t make it up.”

    On the contrary, they’re the right sort of catholics, in that they don’t come in from Fisherwick, Dunclug, Cushendall Road (or the Glens for that matter) expecting equality of treatment in terms of wages, status, pension rights, etc.

    Or did Ballymena catholics suddenly become employable in 2004?

    Unfortunately we don’t have to ‘make it up’.

    Contrast the record of Wrights with that of the Michelin factory in Ballymena. It has been a model of impeccable employment practice due to the company’s refusal to be used as an outlet fot the petty sectarianism which pervades the town.

  • Peter Brown

    TPFoJ

    Do these Catholics apply for jobs in Wrights? No – that is why they have had to make up the skills shortfall by recruiting in Eastern Europe. It’s rather like me moping about not winning the lottery when I don’t actually play! This thread is starting to remind of a certain Dry Your Eyes caricature……

  • Dee

    Facts are facts – The Equality Commission’s report shows clearly that Wrights are the WORST employer of Catholics in the North. The entrance to the factory is covered with loyalist flags – What has W Wright done about it? – nothing, last year he was standing in Ballymena Council putting on his Orange sash and giving out speel about how the Protestant community are ‘under siege’, etc, etc.

    The fact of the matter is that if Wrights’ figures were acceptable they wouldn’t have a plan to address the imbalance in the workforce in place. What Sinn Féin’s statement does is put adequate pressure on the company to ensure that an effective plan is actually implemented, not simply put in place to keep the Equality Commission off their backs.

    Wrights remains a ‘cold house’ for Catholics, no skewed figures from Paisley Junior is going to change that.

    Composition of Appointees to Private Sector Concerns (251 + employees) PUBLISHED 2005

    Company Name P. R.C N.D. TOTAL [% P] [% RC]

    Viridian Group PLC
    NIE Powerteam 6 6 0 12 [50.0%] [50.0%]
    Northern Ireland Electricity PLC 27 23 2 52 [54.0%] [46.0%]
    Service and Systems Solutions Ltd – – – 3 – –
    Visteon (UK) Ltd – – – 0 – –
    WD Meats Ltd 46 59 0 105 [43.8%] [56.2%]
    Wetherspoon JD PLC – – – 74 – –
    Wilson FG (Engineering) Ltd 39 15 19 73 [72.2%] [27.8%]
    Wincanton Group Ltd 26 12 12 50 [68.4%] [31.6%]
    Windmill Restaurants Ltd 76 63 20 159 [54.7%] [45.3%]
    Wine Inns Ltd 66 79 22 167 [45.5%] [54.5%]
    Wineflair (Belfast) Ltd 75 57 7 139 [56.8%] [43.2%]
    Winemark the Winemerchants Ltd 70 59 9 138 [54.3%] [45.7%]
    Woolworths PLC 101 104 5 210 [49.3%] [50.7%]

    Wrightbus Ltd 94 2 1 97 [97.9%] [2.1%]

    Xtra-Vision 92 85 0 177 [52.0%] [48.0%]

  • frank

    Was it not a large number of loyalist Wrightbus employees who were so outraged at an Irish flag being put up on a lampost in Ballymena a few years ago, that they downed tools and drove to the area, armed with cudgels to remove the offensive flag.

    As far as i recall, they were apprehended by the police before any violence took place.

    Not sure if the manangement of Wrightbus took any disciplinary action against the workers

  • Peter Brown

    I know from personal and professional experience that both the last 2 posts are factually inaccurate and to state or at least imply that an employer is responsible for the lamposts outside their factory and the behaviour of their employees outside their employment may have some relevance to Wrightbus but is surely more relevant to some political parties as well….what are Wrights not doing within the factory which makes it a cold house for catholics?

  • fair_deal

    Wrightscaughtout

    “They are using an increase in foreign labour to claim a less sectarian inmbalanced company.”

    Err no because such people are classified as ex-ni and not in such figures. Hence it is why in the figures above the Prot and Rc elements don’t add up to 100% (81.7% + 14 = 95.7).

  • Peter Brown

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good lynch mob…..

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    Peter Brown
    “Do these Catholics apply for jobs in Wrights? No – that is why they have had to make up the skills shortfall by recruiting in Eastern Europe. It’s rather like me moping about not winning the lottery when I don’t actually play!”

    You are being deliberately disingenuous in reducing ingrained anti-catholic employment practices to being the result of catholics not applying for the posts.
    Surely there must be more to it than that?

    PB
    “what are Wrights not doing within the factory which makes it a cold house for catholics?”

    I hope that you are being reasonably sincere in posing this question, as it is important.

  • “Surely there must be more to it than that? “

    I can hear straws being clutched at…

    The truth is you don’t know and I don’t know, but without any evidence it’s as ridiculous to jump to the conclusion of ‘institutional sectarianism’ as it is to dismiss it.

    I would like to know where the huge difference in the figures arises though, as well as what the relevant demographics are.

    Regardless though, irresponsible is too mild a term for what Sinn Fein have been at here. If they have a problem with Wrightbus they should take it up with the equality commission, not go crying like a jealous child, jeopardising jobs rather than risk them (God forbid) go to Protestants.

  • Stephen Copeland

    In an attempt to clarify matters here, let me sum up my understanding of the situation:

    1. Philip McGuigan said that figures released recently have shown that less that 2% of the workforce is Catholic making it the worse employers of Catholics in the North.

    2. The Equality Commission (a statutory body whose stats are, I presume, reputable) states that in 2004 Wrightbus Ltd had 710 employees, of whom 662 were Protestant (95.3% of those stating a religion) and 33 were Catholic (4.7%). 15 declined to answer the question on religion.

    The same monitoring report stated that the composition of appointees (i.e. new hires) in 2004 was 94 Protestants (97.9%), 2 Catholics (2.1%), and one ‘not declared’.

    3. Ian Paisley Junior claims that from 2004 to 2006, the Protestant workforce has declined from 93.2 per cent to 81.7 per cent. That’s a 10 per cent decline in the Protestant employees. During the same period, the Roman Catholic workforce has increased from 4.6 per cent to 14 per cent. The population of Ballymena roughly breaks down 80 per cent Protestant and 20 per cent Catholic, thus making the employment record of the company in line with local population requirements.

    4. The 2001 Population of Ballymena was 58,616. Of these the ‘community background’ (Census table s306) breakdown was Catholic 12,288 (20.96%), and Protestant 44,723 (76.3%)

    Conclusions:

    1. Philip McGuigan appears to have been referring to the new-hires, and not to the overall composition of the Wrightbus workforce. In this he was wrong.

    2. The 2004 composition of Wrightbus did not reflect the population of Ballymena – Catholics were 4.7% of the workforce, against 21% of the population.

    3. The 2004 new-hires by Wrightbus were worse even that its existing situation – Catholics were 2.1% of new-hires, against 21% of the population.

    4. Ian Paisley Junior’s stats for the 2004-2006 period are unverifiable, as the Equality Comission has not published them.

    5. If IP Junior’s stats are good, then, in the absence of any announced redundancies in Wrightbus, they must have hired an additional 80 Catholics, and an additional 20 ‘not stated’ to arrive at the percentages claimed. This would give Wrightbus the following (hypothetical) workforce:

    Total 810 (100%)
    Protestant 662 (81.7%)
    Catholic 113 (14.0%)
    Other 35

    6. This would imply a radical turn-around in Wrightbus’s hiring practices, from 2.1% Catholic in 2004 to a full 80% in 2005-2006. This would be radical positive action.

    Other posters have claimed or hinted at insider knowldge of Wrightbus (Peter King, Peter Brown). I would be grateful if they could verify that Conclusion No 6 above is correct. If it is not, then how do IP Junior’s claims stand up?

    If Wrightbus did hire 80 new Catholics in 2005, then it did so in complete silence – no press release tells us of it, no politician claimed credit, the Equality Commission said nothing. So is it credible?

  • TAFKABO

    Are people supposed to issue press releases saying they’ve just hired catholics?

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    Beano
    “I can hear straws being clutched at…”

    I posed a genuine, and IMO valid, question.

    Try and take a step back from the mind-set that every debate where NI is concerned requires a pre-fab argument to back up your “own” side – I think you’ll find it liberating.

    Catholics have been underrepresented in employment figures across several sectors in NI for a considerable period of time and Wrights appear to exemplify this. Recent improvements should be welcomed, but I’m interested in why the descrepancies arose in the first place.

    I would suggest that institutionalised sectarianism played a key role, while another poster suggests that the jobs where available to catholics if they bothered to apply for them.

    Now we clearly disagree, but my mind is open to persuasion. Therefore I’ve no need to clutch at straws.

  • My Left Foot

    Sinn Fein thrive on division, personally i let the facts do the talking:

    The tenth monitoring report of the Equality Commission is available only now; it was issued last week and gives the current up-to-date figures, in local government terms, for the Nationalist-controlled councils. In Newry and Mourne — I think one of its representatives spoke earlier — 76·8% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic. In the case of Down District Council — again, one of its representatives spoke earlier — 78·9% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic. In Londonderry — a representative has not spoken until now — 77·4% of recruits were Roman Catholic. In the case of Omagh District Council, 73·8% of recruits were Roman Catholic. Strabane came out remarkably well: only 60% were Roman Catholic. What sort of world are these people living in? I have not gone into the statistics for private sector companies, which I have mentioned from time to time over the past 20 years.

    Mr Haughey:

    Will the Member give way?

    Mr Campbell:

    No, not when I have only one and a half minutes.

    The private sector is even worse. In the case of Norbrook Laboratories, the head of which sits on one of the North/South Councils, 85·9% of recruits are Roman Catholics. The figure for Glen Electric is 95·1% — we are coming close to 100%. Sean Quinn’s is 91·2% Roman Catholic. Reality checks are needed big time. People want to try to dwell on a concept and an illusion of reality. In reality, our community is being discriminated against day in, day out.

    Source http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/record/reports/000606.htm#5

  • pith

    The People’s Front of Judea,

    (Monty Python? Hope not)

    “Contrast the record of Wrights with that of the Michelin factory in Ballymena.”

    Yes, and look how the Michelin man look caught on all over Northern Ireland – across the sexes and religions too. You never hear anyone saying, “She looks like the backend of a Wright’s bus”.

  • multi national

    Why would anyone invest in this quagmire ?

  • Peter Brown

    TPFoJ
    I would suggest that institutionalised sectarianism played a key role

    You suggest this without a shred of evidence except your assumption to support it – produce evidence and I will attempt to rebut it, answer my question about steps which need to be taken within the factory and i will research it but don’t simply leap to conclusions without justification and expect readers to accept your results as fact. I could equally point to the bare statistics of recent recruitment figures posted by others here and leave it at that but at least I try to put some meat on the bones of my argument. In fairness at least you are not being blatantly and perhaps maliciously inaccurate unlike the others who have yet to respond to my assertion that they have got their facts wrong but in making assumptions you are not far behind them

  • Briso

    MyLeftFoot: In Newry and Mourne — I think one of its representatives spoke earlier — 76·8% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic. In the case of Down District Council — again, one of its representatives spoke earlier — 78·9% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic. In Londonderry — a representative has not spoken until now — 77·4% of recruits were Roman Catholic. In the case of Omagh District Council, 73·8% of recruits were Roman Catholic. Strabane came out remarkably well: only 60% were Roman Catholic.
    ————————————
    Gregory? Is that you?

    The figures above are interesting indeed, but I would need to see them compared against the population breakdown for the council area. If Strabane is 60% Catholic, then 60% of employees should be catholic, no? IP jr talked about 80-20 in Ballymena, not 50-50 which would be ridiculous. Also, the overall proportion is relevant too. If catholics are over-represented in a council, one year where Protestants are taken on in greater numbers is not a problem.

    So, for each council, three sets of figures.

    1. Breakdown of population by religion.
    2. Breakdown of workforce by religion
    3. The figures you gave for 2005 recruitment
    N&M 76.8 Cath X Prot
    Derry 77.4% Cath X Prot
    Strabane 60% Cath X Prot

    Oh, and lets do it for all councils while we’re at it.

  • Stephen Copeland

    My Left Foot,

    The tenth monitoring report of the Equality Commission is available only now …

    Why would you go so far back in time? Monitoring Reports 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 have all been released and are available on the Equality Commission website.

    In Newry and Mourne … — 76·8% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic.

    That is fairly close to the proportion of the population of Newry and Mourne (80% Catholic). So what’s your point?

    In the case of Down District Council — … 78·9% of recruits last year were Roman Catholic.

    True, and this is bad. Down DC is only 62% Catholic, and 35% Protestant. However, it would be hard to blame McGuigan or his party for this apparent discrimination since Down is the SDLP stronghold par excellence.

    In Londonderry (sic – there is no such local authority)… — 77·4% of recruits were Roman Catholic.

    Again, very close to the population structure of Derry, which is around 75% Catholic.

    In the case of Omagh District Council, 73·8% of recruits were Roman Catholic.

    Omagh DC area is 69% Catholic, and only 30% Protestant.

    Strabane came out remarkably well: only 60% were Roman Catholic.

    Strabane DC is 66% Catholic, and only 33% Protestant. So it seems that Sinn Féin dominated Councils are actually less likely to discriminate than others!

    As you say yourself, “let the facts do the talking.

  • Briso

    MLF
    Strabane came out remarkably well: only 60% were Roman Catholic.

    SC
    Strabane DC is 66% Catholic, and only 33% Protestant. So it seems that Sinn Féin dominated Councils are actually less likely to discriminate than others!

    How do you work that out? SF are discriminating against Catholics on those figures. 😉

    Still need to see the overall workforce figures though. One year in isolation doesn’t say enough.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Briso,

    … Still need to see the overall workforce figures though

    Then look at them, for goodness sake. I keep posting the link to the latest available Equality Commission Monitoring Report. Please click on it – if you do, I recommend the second part because it contains all of the statistical annexes.

    SF are discriminating against Catholics on those figures.

    No, that is way to simplistic. The figures refer to new hires in one year, and could be swayed by any number of factors, but mostly by chance and the quality of the candidates that put themselves forward. Maybe next year they’ll recruit more Catholics, or maybe not. All the figures show is that there is no prima facie evidence of an anti-Protestant bias in Strabane DC’s hiring practices. Longer series of data are, of course, needed to show this more completely.

    Which brings me back to Wrightbus. There is prima facie evidence of a bias against Catholics there – only 2.1% of new hires in the latest available statistics, while 21% of the pool of labour is Catholic. If there are reasons for this (and there could be), then the Equality Commission should know them, and the Nevada customers should insist on having them too.

  • Briso

    The actual link might have helped… I ploughed through the report and summary but couldn’t find them.
    http://www.equalityni.org/uploads/pdf/MonRepNo15P2.pdf

    protestant percentage first (of course) 😉
    Derry
    Pop 25 75
    Workforce 24.8 75.2
    2005 recruitment 37.3 62.7

    Down
    Pop 35 62
    Workforce 25 75
    2005 recruitment 21.1 78.9

    Strabane
    Pop 33 66
    Workforce 32.8 67.2
    2005 recruitment 24.3 75.7

  • Stephen Copeland

    Briso,

    I think everyone can find figures to suit their point of view in these reports, because there are simply so many. We risk being submerged in data. Its interesting, though, that Ballymena Borough Council (DUP controlled) managed to recruit 18% Catholic in 2004 while Wrightbus (DUP controlled!) only managed 2.1%.

    The figures for overall composition of a workforce are much more illustrative than those for one year’s recruitment, though even the latter are useful to show the evolution where there is an existing imbalance (Wrightbus again … !).

    Even the overall composition figures are not the final word, as the structure of the working age population may not be the same as that of the whole population (we all know that Protestants are skewed more toward the retirement age population than Catholics), and at recruitment level it may even be more accurate to look at the structure of the age-group 18-30.

  • slug

    Stephen

    Why do you say Wrightbus is DUP controlled?

  • Stephen Copeland

    slug,

    Sorry, my mistake. Wrightbus owner William Wright was a UUP councillor, but subsequently stood as an independent unionist. I thought he had gone over to the dark side …

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    PB

    I’m genuinely interested in finding out why there have been deep rooted discrepancies in the employment figures for catholics and protestants across several sectors in NI.

    My suggestion that institutionalised sectarianism played a key role was exactly that, a suggestion. Obviously it’s not for you to prove or disprove anything I say, but if this suggestion is wrong, I’d be interested to know what caused the anamoly.

    I find your idea that it boils down purely to catholics not applying for jobs to be facile. If that was the only obstacle to be overcome then it has taken an awful long time for anything approaching parity to be achieved.

    If the will had been there, at Wright’s and elsewhere, to increase the numbers of catholics applying in their workforce, then the rafts of fair employment legislation of the 80s and 90s would have been unnecessary.

  • Peter Brown

    There is prima facie evidence of a bias against Catholics there – only 2.1% of new hires in the latest available statistics, while 21% of the pool of labour is Catholic. If there are reasons for this (and there could be), then the Equality Commission should know them, and the Nevada customers should insist on having them too.

    These statistics are not PRIMA FACIE evidence of discrimination – where does this bare figure indicate that the merit principle was not applied? I have asked for evidence either statistical or otherwise of actual discrimination other than assumptions and innuendo and to date none has been supplied….

  • Stephen Copeland

    Oh and PB, while you’re at it, could you ever get around to answering the question I posed in my Jun 27, 2006 @ 06:57 PM post.

    To re-cap it: Is Ian Paisley Junior telling the truth in the quote at the top of the page? And if so, given your apparent insider knowledge, how did such a radical (unprecedented, I would say) positive action programme in Wrightbus go unnoticed?

    If you don’t manage an answer, I will, of course, draw the logical conclusion.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Peter Brown,

    Either Ian Paisley Junior is lying, or you are wrong.

    If IP jr is correct, then it is clear that Wrightbus recuited Catholics overwhelmingly in 2005-6, but since they recruited very few in 2004 this means that merit was clearly not the criterion in one of those periods. This, if nothing else, would prove that merit has not been their main recruitment criterion in recent years.

    Or maybe IP jr is lying? Your choice.

  • The People’s Front of Judea

    PB

    I’m currently skiving in an office in Manchester (shhhh!) and while I can (almost) justify being on here, digging for stats for you to ‘research’ is just a bridge too far.

    I hope someone else is even more work-shy than me and can get you what you’re looking for!

  • Peter Brown

    I presume IPJ is telling the truth but yo’d have to ask him or wait for the next report but tohers have already given possible explanations for this statistic – simply read everything in between. It will not have gone unnoticed when the EC reports again but Wrights I presume like any other employer in NI or elsewhere does not issue Press Releases about its recruitment figures! Your second post again makes leaps from figures to conclusions without tracing how the conclusion was arrived at therefore I do not have to choose – I understood Wrights have been having difficulty recruiting sufficiently skilled local workers for some time and there is no actual evidence that they ever used anything other than merit to appoint applicants – the question is who applied…..

  • for all the knackers on this site

    For all the feckin monkeys esp you stupid copeland

    please read as per MLF’s post

    “In the case of Norbrook Laboratories, the head of which sits on one of the North/South Councils, 85·9% of recruits are Roman Catholics. The figure for Glen Electric is 95·1% — we are coming close to 100%. Sean Quinn’s is 91·2% Roman Catholic”

    Now Norbrook, massive company 85.9 % RC
    Glen Electric 95.1%

    both in Newry

    Now bumfluff copeland as you say N&M DC is 20% protestant, please explain these 2 companies discrimatory practices to me

  • Stephen Copeland

    Peter Brown,

    Your reply is grossly inadequate, but you already know that. You know as well as I do (because the statistics show it) that either Wrightbus has shown anti-Catholic bias in its recruitment, or Ian Paisley junior bare-face lied.

    The quality or quantity of Catholic candidates did not change radically from one year to another. If Wrightbus happened to radically change its attitude to those candidates, then that is something else. It would have been, for example, a recognition that its previous hiring practices were discriminatory.

    Maybe the mystery of the missing press releases can be resolved in the same way. The company perhaps did not want to admit to hiring more Catholics, because that would be de facto acknowledgement of past discrimination. Was this part of a deal with the EC? Who knows? We’ll find out eventually, but conveniently for Wrightbus, long after the Nevada contract has been delivered. However, if I know the litigious Americans, they won’t take IP jr’s word for it, they will want the real hard and verifiable facts. As has been pointed out, the McBride principles are binding on the customer, so this is one that you cannot sweep under the carpet. No doubt, even if the EC has agreed to sit on any deal over here, it will seep out in the US, and work its way back over.

  • Peter Brown

    The quality or quantity of Catholic candidates did not change radically from one year to another

    And you know this how?
    Read the other posts on the previous thread and you will see that they are now recruiting outside Ballymena and even NI hence the change in recruitment. If that is too complicated for you let me know and I’ll take all the 2+ syllable words out for you

    they will want the real hard and verifiable facts

    Unlike you they won’t leap to conclusions based on bare statistics

  • Stephen Copeland

    Peter Brown,

    … you will see that they are now recruiting outside Ballymena and even NI hence the change in recruitment.

    Whether the Catholics are from Ballymena is not the issue. But if they are recruiting Catholics from anywhere it marks a radical turn-around, wouldn’t you admit.

    As for recruitment from outside NI, fair_deal on Jun 27, 2006 @ 04:39 PM made the point: Err no because such people are classified as ex-ni and not in such figures. Hence it is why in the figures above the Prot and Rc elements don’t add up to 100% (81.7% + 14 = 95.7).. Is he wrong?

    Again I ask, are my calculations wrong? Has Wrightbus actually recruited 80 Catholics in the last 18 months, after a virtually dearth of Catholic recruitment in the years up to then (eg only 2 in 2004)?

    If it has, and Ian Paisley junior is right, then you had previously lied or erred in claiming that recruitment was based on merit. If you are right, IP jr is the liar or fool. Which is it? Are you big enough to admit?

  • Peter Brown

    Why does such a change reflect a change to the merit principle – if they didn’t apply or that those that did did not merit appointment then there has been no change on the part of Wrights merely a change on the part of the applicants? are you big enough to admit this and then i was right all along – the two positions are not inconsistent….no error or lie just an apology from you!

  • Briso

    SC:
    I think everyone can find figures to suit their point of view in these reports, because there are simply so many.

    Aye, maybe, but what is going on in Down District Council? It does stand out a bit from the others. Also, where can I get population by religious breakdown figures by council area? It’s a bit unfair to focus only on nationalist councils.

  • Nevin

    Briso, you can find council and ward background statistics at NINIS.

    When the website opens click NINIS and then AREA PROFILE. Select the council you want then its profile or its wards and then their profiles.

    I see the Equality Commission itself is going from bad to worse: P/C – workforce 40.2/59.8; new appointees 30.8/69.2.

  • Nevin

    What about O’Kane Poultry in Ballymena?

    O’Kane Poultry Ltd 379 110 150 639 [77.5%] [22.5%]

    O’Kane Poultry Ltd 38 12 129 179 [76.0%] [24.0%]

    The P/C figures look good but O’Kane’s appear to be ‘favouring’ nfNI folks. Is there or should there be a law against this sort of ‘discrimination’? Would there be any fuss if Wright’s new appointees matched those of O’Kane’s?