Remploy workers bid for automotive business in Birmingham Coventry and Derby as social enterprise to save jobs
This bid is independent from Remploy and has a lot of backing and support from many sectors, with MPs, schools for disabled, unions, consultants and others pledging support and help says GMB
Remploy workers in the Birmingham are bidding to turn factories in the automotive business into a social enterprise to save the jobs of disabled workers at that factory as well as the sites in Coventry and Derby.
The bid is being spearheaded by Robert Bradley and Martin Hindle who represent the workers at the Birmingham site.
If the bid successful the plan is that any surplus profits will go to help train disabled people and help other good causes in their communities.
This bid follows the decision by the Department of Works and Pensions to remove funding from all Remploy factories by September 2013 with the loss of 1021 disabled jobs across the country. This numbers does not include employees who are not disabled who will lose their jobs as well.
At this moment the automotive business alone is earmarked as being sold as a going concern, due to the business being profitable although a few other businesses are being looked at but no decision has been made.
Neil Williams, GMB regional organiser, said "This bid is independent and totally separate from Remploy and has a lot of backing and support from many sectors, with MPs, schools for disabled, unions, consultants and others pledging support and help.
One of those involved is John Hemming, MP for Yardley, who has been of great help with this bid and remains committed to the cause.
The team who have registered at Companies' House as a community interest company also have a consultant helping who has been working for free because the wish to see this social enterprise succeed is so strong.
Blue Sky Finance are helping with producing a plan and the procurement of funds, but the team states that:
"Any help is gratefully received as this is about protecting disabled jobs, because the disabled community make a unique workforce where the more able are willing and happy to help those less able and this in turn creates a friendly and professional team based environment that has a true social impact. Plus at the same time helping the local community and economy, especially in such hard times when jobs are scarce".
The unions have also been looking into the training side of the social enterprise bid to include NVQ Apprenticeships and work placements as well as offering advice and encouragement to the team.
GMB has and will continue to support the social enterprise project however and wherever we can. This has been a difficult time for the Remploy employees and this venture offers hope for the disabled people not just at these sites, but throughout the communities which surround them".
Contact: Neil Williams, GMB organiser 07714 539 899 Samantha Jones, Media Administrator 0121 550 4888. GMB Press Office 07921 289 880