Saviour steps in to save Remploy jobs
Published at 16:37, Thursday, 20 September 2012
THE jobs of 21 workers at Barrow’s Remploy factory could be saved after the enterprise revealed it was in advanced negotiations with a potential new owner.
By Ross Tyson
Remploy has named PJ Air Filtration Limited as its preferred bidder to take control of the Flass Lane operation.
The Barrow site was one of 36 facilities across the country earmarked for closure in March when the government ruled they were no longer economically viable.
However, a campaign by workers, unions, councils, MPs and disability advocates, as well as the presentation of a petition to Downing Street in May, appears to have paid off.
The Remploy board assessed bids received prior to its August 31 deadline and selected PJ Air Filtration’s offer for the Barrow factory to “proceed to the next stage of the commercial process”.
Workers were informed of the positive development on Tuesday and yesterday representatives from PJ Air Filtration toured the factory, which manufactures air filters.
The Remploy board – which also approved offers for its Bristol factory and one other business venture – is optimistic but stressed nothing had been finalised.
“Remploy will now enter into detailed negotiations and due diligence with preferred bidders and where negotiations are successful, the company aims to complete transactions before the end of October 2012,” a statement read.
Barrow’s Remploy team leader Jayne Greenhalgh said the workers were “bouncing” for joy at the news.
“It seems we’ve been saved,” she said.
“After the announcement on Tuesday we were still a little bit unsure about things.
“But since the guys came here and had a chat to us about their plans for the business, we’re over the moon.”
The Remploy board said if deals were signed, it anticipated all employees would transfer to the new owner under the protection of the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations.
“The board has judged their viability on a series of criteria, including continued employment of disabled people, value for money and the sustainability of the businesses in the best and final offers submitted,” the board noted.
“However, it is important to recognise that whilst the continued employment of disabled people was a key criterion in reviewing bid, acceptance of the offer does not necessarily mean continued employment of all employees at the site.”
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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