Monday, August 20, 2007

AMs join forces to fight Remploy closure plans

Two of Bridgend’s leading Labour politicians have united to help workers campaigning to prevent the closure of the Remploy factory at Waterton Industrial Estate in the town.

Assembly Members, Carwyn Jones and Janice Gregory have issued a call for management at the company to think again in a strongly worded letter to the company’s Chief Executive, following meetings with staff at the plant and with Remploy Company Secretary, Guy Phillips.

Carwyn Jones AM (Bridgend) said,

"The Bridgend plant makes components for the automotive industry and still has its major contract in place. There is no question of the plant running short of work and it appears that some of the Remploy factories being kept open in other parts of the country are less viable than Bridgend."

"It provides a valuable training facility, with education taking place in situ, which would be difficult to replicate elsewhere."

Janice Gregory AM (Ogmore) added,

"There are no guarantees that appropriate alternative employment will be available in the area for Remploy employees should the closure be given the go ahead. Many of those that work there flourish at Remploy because of its sheltered nature. To place them outside of the company would cause them to lose the self-confidence that they have worked hard to achieve."

"We believe that the Remploy management need to look again at their modernisation plans. Meaningful engagement with the workers and their trade union representatives as part of an extended consultation period would be a good place to start the process of discussion from."

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