Remploy in Portsmouth to close

CLOSING ''Remploy workers on a Unite Union picket line outside the Remploy factory in Rodney Road, Fratton in 2012. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (122496-3031)
CLOSING ''Remploy workers on a Unite Union picket line outside the Remploy factory in Rodney Road, Fratton in 2012. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (122496-3031)
Portsmouth Magistrates' Court

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MORE than a dozen staff are to lose their jobs after it was announced the Remploy factory in the city will close.

The 12 disabled and one non-disabled workers at the packaging factory, in Rodney Road, Milton, face a 30-day consultation starting next week.

It comes as Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey announced today 230 disabled people working at Remploy factories across the country face redundancy.

She said there was no viable bids received for the packaging business based in Portsmouth, Norwich, Burnley and Sunderland

The decision to close down three businesses across nine sites, owned by the Department for Work and Pensions, is likely to result in one third of its workforce losing their jobs.

Ms McVey said calls for business offers for some of the sites meant that many will remain commercially viable, but there were no substantial bids for a number of factories.

Reading a statement in the Commons, she said 234 disabled people were now at risk of redundancy and will take part in individual consultation with Remploy.

She said: ‘Despite having had considerable interest in the Marine and Frontline Textile businesses at Leven, Cowdenbeath, Stirling, Dundee and Clydebank, Remploy did not receive a best and final offer for these businesses as part of the commercial process.

‘Additionally, there are no viable bids for the packaging business based at Norwich, Portsmouth, Burnley and Sunderland.

‘These sites will now move to closure and all 284 employees at the Packaging, Frontline and Marine Textiles businesses, including 234 disabled employees will, in line with Remploy’s redundancy procedures, be invited to at least two individual consultation meetings over the next 30 days to discuss the options and the support that will be available to them.’

She added: ‘We will continue to do everything we can to support them in finding new jobs.’

Ms McVey said that following the Government consultation launched in December to find commercial bidders for the Remploy factories, 515 jobs had been saved.

Remploy’s automotive business should have a bid in place in a ‘matter of weeks’, she said. This would safeguard the jobs of 217 employees, including 179 at sites in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby.