Local MP Ian Lucas was tweeting from the town centre today ‘proudly supporting remploy workers’. We also have news that a group workers from Wrexham’s Remploy factory will be asking to meet the Secretary of State for Wales to find out directly why a bid for the site is being held back.
The former workers and the company which wants to employ them met today at Wrexham Council’s Guildhall, along with councillors, officers and Ian Lucas. Despite a company willing to take over the Wrexham site – and a willing workforce for the company if it was allowed to take on the site – the Government and Remploy are ‘dragging their heels’.
Now the workers are to ask Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP, for help directly after a series of appeals to both Remploy and the Department for Work and Pensions arrived at a stalemate.
Mr Lucas said “The situation is absurd. The Government says it wants to help people into work yet here is a company which wants to provide work. There are people who want to work. There is a site where that work could be carried out. But the Government is dithering while people are desperate for jobs.
“A would-be employer, keen to help, is being told by Remploy to speak to the Department for Work and Pensions and by the Department for Work and Pensions to speak to Remploy. And every day this vicious circle continues is another day out of work for former Remploy workers. The workers decided today that they wanted to ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he could help them and if he would meet them face to face. They will work with him if he thinks he can help them.”
41 disabled members of staff have been made redundant in the closure of Wrexham’s Remploy.
In 2007 Labour’s Peter Hain closed 28 of the UK’s then 83 Remploys, with Ian Lucas backing Wrexham’s to stay open – which it did. Back in September 2011 Ian Lucas warned of a ‘secret agenda’ to close Remploys (story here), and local protests against any closure forced Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to dodge in via a back door when he appeared in Glyndwr University (story here).