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Norwich Remploy Factory Bids

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

GMB Welcomes Bids For The Norwich Remploy Factory That Will Keep Disabled Workers At Work

GMB will not tolerate any watering down of the commitment to keeping disabled workers at Norwich during the course of the tendering procedure.

GMB today welcomed the news that Remploy has received bids for the Norwich factory from interested buyers which if completed will provide work for disabled workers.

The Norwich factory currently employs 36 local disabled workers and their future has been in doubt since the Sayce Report closed many Remploy factories around the UK making disabled workers redundant with no hope of finding alternative employment in the future when so many workers are unemployed.

GMB and others have campaigned to keep the Norwich factory open and employing disabled workers. GMB members at the factory sent their special thanks to Clive Lewis, Prospective Parliamentary Labour Candidate for Norwich South, Steward Harvey Cann, Susan Wright, Jessica Asato Labour candidate for Norwich North, Cllr. Marion Maxwell, Brenda Arthur Labour Leader of Norwich City Council, Keith Rowley and Gerry Webber  of the GMB Norwich General Branch.

In a letter to local MP Chloe Smith, Tim Matthews Chief Executive Remploy says, “I am writing to provide you with an update on the progress of the commercial process for the Remploy factories involved in Stage 2 of the implementation of the recommendations of the Sayce Review, including the Remploy site in Norwich.

The Company has today announced the results of the bid stage of the commercial process, and I am pleased to confirm that a bid, or bids, has been received for the Norwich site which meet the criteria of preserving the employment of disabled people and representing value for money.

I hope you will agree that while we cannot guarantee that transactions will complete, or that all employee jobs will be retained, this is a positive step forward.

We will now invite successful bidders to put forward their best and final offers. If these are successful we will proceed to the appointment of preferred bidders, and are aiming to reach this stage by July when I will provide a further update.

As I am sure you will appreciate, due to commercial sensitivity and in order to maintain competition we will not be revealing the number of bidders for each of the sites, the identity of the bidder or the nature of their bid at this stage of the process.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and interest in Remploy. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the situation, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

Glenn Holdom, GMB Organiser said, “GMB members working at the Norwich Remploy factory and those who have supported them welcome this announcement and will continue to campaign to keep disabled workers at the heart of the Norwich factor.

However, GMB will not tolerate any watering down of the commitment to keeping disabled workers at Norwich during the course of the tendering procedure. GMB will not be an ally of any company looking to side line disabled workers in Norwich.

Many people deserve thanks for getting us this far and GMB calls on them to keep up the pressure and to challenge any weakening in the commitment to disabled Remploy workers in Norfolk

Clive Lewis Prospective Parliamentary Labour Candidate for Norwich South said, “This is great news and a real relief if it comes off in July. I guess that the devil will be in the detail as regards the fate of Remploy employees and the businesses they work in after the three year sweetener expires. A welcome reprieve if it comes off though.”


Contact: Glenn Holdom GMB Organiser on 07974 251723 or Clive Lewis PPC For Norwich South Labour Party on 07545 610946 or GMB Press Office: 07974 251823 or 07921 289880 or 020 7391 6755/56.


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