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196 More Job Losses At Remploy

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

196 Jobs To Go As Remploy Close Factories At Blackburn, Sheffield And Neath Port Talbot

These 196 job losses are the latest in a long line of disgraceful, ideologically driven decisions by this Government says GMB

GMB, the union for Remploy staff, responded to the statement by Remploy that all 196 employees, including 160 disabled employees, in factories at Blackburn, Sheffield, Neath and the Furniture Business Office close. See Remploy statement in notes to Editors

Jerry Nelson, GMB National Officer, said  “These 196 job losses are the latest in a long line of disgraceful, ideologically driven decisions by this Government.

There is an alternative. These workers could be put back to work making uniforms for our troops, police and nurses and furniture for our schools like they did before the work was outsourced to China.

Sheltered workshops are allowed under EU procurement rules and can successfully keep disabled workers gainfully employed if supported by public contracts.

Instead this government used the Sayce Report and RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories.

Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. You could use the same argument against staging the Paralympic games.

These organizations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment. That ideal state may lead to a completely different views of what support is required.

This is what happens when disabled charities make “the best” the enemy of the “good”. They started with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and they went through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and they end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to enable more than 2,700 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK to be made redundant.

The Tories knew what they were doing using these "useful idiots" who are party to these despicable job losses.”

End

Contact Jerry Nelson 07958 156 846 Les Woodward National Convenor on 07977 436251 or Remploy Yorkshire 07525 136396 or Kevin Hepworth Consortium Chair on 07976 265630 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Statement by Remploy on Furniture Business 28th August 2013

On 9 May 2013 Remploy announced that a preferred bidder had been identified for its Furniture business.

Detailed negotiations and due diligence commenced with the bidder, Metalliform Holdings Ltd. However, as can happen during the due diligence phase, Metalliform advised the Company that they were unable to continue with their original bid for the entire business.

As a result, in July Remploy re-opened discussions with other bidders who had submitted Best and Final Offers for the Furniture business or its assets to ascertain whether they wished to submit revised offers.

Best and Final Offers were evaluated by Remploy and the Company’s advisers KPMG and the evaluations were approved by the Department for Work and Pensions and an independent panel of experts appointed by DWP.

The Remploy Board has given careful consideration to the bids which were assessed for viability on a series of criteria including continued employment of disabled people, value for money for the taxpayer and the sustainability of the business.

The Board has determined that no viable business bids meeting these criteria were received for the Furniture business and as a result it will close and all its factories will now move to closure.

All 196 employees, including 160 disabled employees, in factories at Blackburn, Sheffield, Neath and the Furniture Business Office remain at risk of compulsory redundancy. They will be invited to at least two individual consultation meetings over the next 30 days to discuss the options and the support that will be available to them.

However, a number of bids have been received for the assets of the Furniture business. Remploy is assessing whether these proposals offer value for money and whether there is any real prospect of employment opportunities for disabled people and will continue negotiations with any bidders whose asset bids are successful.

The Government has put in place a comprehensive package of support to help each disabled employee made redundant, including:

Individual tailored support for every disabled employee through a Personal Case Worker for up to 18 months

Personal Budgets - available for disabled former employees to purchase individual back to work support where other funding streams are unavailable

The Community Support Fund to deliver projects and activities via local disabled people’s user led organisations and voluntary sector organisations to help former employees build confidence and to provide development opportunities

The Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service will be available to deliver individual support to all those affected by redundancy including non-disabled employees in England. This support will be delivered by PACE in Scotland and React in Wales.

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