Scottish Government must help now to save Remploy jobs

28 Nov

Unite has called on the Scottish Government to quickly make good on its earlier commitment to help save Remploy jobs in Scotland ahead of a third debate on the issue in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Thursday 29th November).

Unite is urging MSPs to put pressure on the Scottish Government to step-in with a rescue package that will support disabled employment across Scotland’s Remploy sites, using the example of the Welsh Government’s ‘Employer Support Grant’ (ESG) as a model of intervention.

In Scotland the fight to save jobs for vulnerable workers suffered a huge blow yesterday after it was announced the Remploy Springburn plant – the only Scottish & UK manufacturer of wheelchairs – would be closing after the DWP said a buyer could not be found.

Scottish Government Minister for Enterprise Fergus Ewing has visited all Scottish Remploy factories in recent weeks but with tensions in the workforce reaching breaking point following the closure of the Springburn site urgent clarity is now required.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Lyn Turner said, “Alex Salmond has previously said that Remploy ‘goes beyond being a supported business and a place work and the Scottish Government will do all it can to assist’. Our members need that help now. 

The UK Government is throwing these vulnerable workers on the unemployment scrapheap and the white knight buyer process has been a sham.  Without the intervention of devolved governance these factories will close.

The Welsh Government has shown that there is a better way with the creation of the ESG – a subsidy scheme established to help employers recruit Remploy workers made redundant throughout 2012 – and they have told us they would be happy to speak with Alex Salmond at the next meeting of First Ministers. 

Opportunities are there to save these jobs and it would be an unforgiveable failure of Scottish governance and politics if we don’t even try.”  

The devastating impact of the UK Government’s ‘Access to Work’ policy has already resulted in over 1,500 compulsory redundancies across Remploy and the closure of nearly two-thirds of its factories.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:  For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Lyn Turner on 07980871394.

Please see details of the Remploy ESG Paper (Wales).

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