August closure fears for Wrexham Remploy workers

Published date: 19 July 2012 |
Published by: Staff reporter
Read more articles by Staff reporter

Remply in Wrexham 

REMPLOY workers fear they will be laid off as early as next month.

The company has confirmed redundancies at plants due to close could begin from mid-August, including at Wrexham where more than 40 disabled workers will lose their jobs.

But it has denied the Wrexham site is due to shut on August 16, despite workers contacting the Leader to say they were told this in a meeting by officials earlier this week.

Wrexham employees will today go on strike and form a picket line outside the branch in protest at the closure.

The factory is one of 27 due to close after an announcement by the UK government.
A spokesman for Remploy said: “That date [August 16] is the earliest potential leaving date for workers, it is not when any closures will be made.

“We are still going through individual consultation processes and nothing is confirmed.

“We do not expect for anywhere to close as early as August.”

One of the workers, Nicholas Green, has been employed by the company for 26 years.

He said: “We were told on Tuesday afternoon we would be finishing on August 16.

“We are all absolutely gutted about this. We knew we were closing but it was a bit of a shock to be told we would be finishing so soon.

“I came here from school and have never worked anywhere else. I have grown up with the people there and they are like a family.”

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, who has been involved in campaigning to save the plant, also said he had been informed by workers of the planned closure on August 16.

He said: “This is a very frustrating situation and I am very concerned. I will continue to do everything I can on behalf of the workers. There is a prospective buyer but there seems to be a determination not to keep it open.”

Maria Miller, UK minister for disabled people, said no viable business plans were put forward for the Wrexham factory.

She said: “I want to reassure all those affected by the announcement, that as well as redundancy money an £8million package of support is there to help you into a mainstream job including a personal case worker to everyone affected with their future choices.

“The 40 workers in the Wrexham factory can also access support from Remploy Employment Services, which last year found 220 jobs for disabled and disadvantaged people in the Wrexham area – many with similar disabilities to those working in Remploy factories.”

Earlier this week, the minister for education and skills, Leighton Andrews, announced the Welsh Government would be offering an Employer Support Grant for up to four years to encourage and support employers to offer employment to eligible disabled Remploy workers.

The scheme is expected to cost up to £2.4million a year.

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