Probe call into 'cynical' Remploy closure plan

A GOVERNMENT investigation into the closure of the Remploy factory in Springburn has been demanded.

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The Remploy site in Springburn
The Remploy site in Springburn

The closure process was branded "cynical" "ideologically driven" and a "scandal" by MSPs yesterday during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.

The staff were told earlier this week the factory would shut and 34 disabled workers were told they would be made redundant.

R-Link, which initially bid to take over Remploy in Springburn and Chesterfield, but then pulled out of the Springburn deal, has said it will still be offering Remploy disability products, but the factory will close and the goods be made elsewhere.

MSPs called on the Scottish Government to step in and save the plant, and Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said he would be encouraging the public sector to place orders if Remploy factories across the country can be saved.

Maryhill and Springburn, Labour MSP, Patricia Ferguson, said: "The whole process has been flawed and cynical. It is cynical to deprive the workforce and unions the most basic information about bids and to have to wait eight months to learn their fate.

"Nothing about this process has been open and transparent in any other situation it would be a scandal."

She called for the UK Minister for the Disabled, Esther McVey to order an investigation and call a halt to the closure of any Remploy factory in Scotland.

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Government Enterprise Minister, said the would be putting in place a package of enhanced support for the workers made redundant and also called for the UK Government to halt the closure plans.

He said: "The commercial process has been run with unnecessary levels of secrecy and seems to have been predicated on the closure of the sites."

Mr Ewing said there would be an announcement before Christmas of what support the Scottish Government would be seeking to give.

Labour and the SNP called for the closures to be stopped, while the Conservatives defended the plans, stating the sites which are to close were not economically viable.

Bob Doris, Glasgow SNP MSP, said he had concerns about R-Link and R Healthcare and claimed the entire process had been an "ideologically driven exercise",

He said: "It is not acceptable to walk away from the factory in Springburn with the order book in their mitts."

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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