WREXHAM MP Ian Lucas has pledged to keep a close eye on Wrexham’s Remploy factory which is at the centre of fresh closure speculation.
Union leaders have warned a new Government review into employment services for disabled people could lead to the closure of 54 Remploy factories across the UK, which provide work for disabled people, with the loss of 2,500 jobs.
Their fears are based on a statement from Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, that she was “attracted” by the new model for Remploy set out in recommendations put forward by Liz Sayce, chief executive of the RADAR charity.
Ms Miller said this would see Remploy leave public-sector ownership, with workers and organisations offered the chance to create new businesses or acquire existing ones. But the GMB claims there are no prospects the factories can survive without public support.
National officer Phil Davies said: “If the minister goes ahead on the basis of the Sayce report, the 54 factories will close and 2,500 disabled workers will lose their jobs and go on the dole.”
Ian Lucas said: “I am very suspicious of the Government’s approach to Remploy and am very concerned at these latest proposals.
“Wrexham’s Remploy factory has proved very successful but the Government seems determined to question its role. I will be watching very closely and will act if Remploy’s Wrexham factory is threatened.”
Last spring, 11 of the 54 workers at the factory left as as part of a nationwide voluntary redundancy scheme.