Axed Remploy workers could get lifeline as others put at risk by sale plan

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WORKERS at the Leeds Remploy factory could be handed a lifeline while those at the Sheffield site have found their jobs at risk.

Ex-Remploy employee Tony Gledhill has set up a co-op in Leeds and is recruiting 12 ex-workers from the packaging and manufacturing factory at Millshaw after it closed last Friday with the loss of 60 jobs.

Partially deaf Mr Gledhill, 44, of Halton, Leeds – a Remploy worker for 27 years – is company secretary of “Enabled Works”. It is a not-for-profit company which will also provide a community facility to support former Remploy employees.

The closure of Remploy at Leeds followed the axing of 27 Remploy factories in August, including Pontefract, where 28 jobs were lost.

However the news came on the same day that Sheffield MPs urged Ministers to rethink the planned sale of the city’s Remploy factory.

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, criticised the timing of putting employees at 
risk of redundancy just before Christmas and said he was appalled the decision had been announced through a written statement.

“It was cowardly,” he said. “At the very least, the Minister could have had the decency to give notice to MPs - especially those with Remploy factories in their area – and then be prepared to answer their many questions.”

The news follows the closure of 34 factories earlier this year.