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Remploy Bid Nobbled

Monday, July 29, 2013

GMB Call For Bidding For Remploy Factories In Birmingham Coventry And Derby To Be Suspended Over Allegations Of That Bid By Workers Was ‘Nobbled’

MP’s claim that the workers’ bid was denied important financial information and that the whole process could be seen as prejudiced to the workers’ bid says GMB.

GMB, the union for Remploy workers, is calling for the bidding process for the Remploy Automotive factories to be suspended whilst allegations of unfairness and questions about transparency are investigated. This is after the bid by the workers co-operative to run the sites in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby was turned down.

GMB is aware that these allegations are supported by comments made by local MP John Hemmings who has worked closely with the bid from the workers.

Mr Hemmings alleges that the process was fixed and the workers bid has been “nobbled”. The row follows the Government’s announcement that Remploy factories, which have traditionally provided work for people with disabilities, are to be sold off or closed.

Dominic Hinks, GMB Organiser “Mr Hemmings had raised serious concerns about Chartered Accountants, KPMG, who were overseeing the sale of the automotive business.  Mr Hemmings is claiming that the workers’ bid was denied important financial information,  it appears to me that the whole process could be seen as prejudiced to the workers’ bid which is contrary to Government rhetoric which said the bidding process would look sympathetically from worker led enterprises and mutual.

The social enterprise which originated from the Birmingham site would have guaranteed jobs for all disabled workers currently employed at Birmingham, Coventry and Derby as well as offering training opportunities to disabled people and children within the region.  All the profits would have been reinvested back into the enterprise and any additional money would have been donated to local charities and causes.  This would have seen a real improvement in both the local community and economy.

I think that it is worth remembering that Remploy itself is basically a social enterprise company (not for profit), just badly run by faceless names who sit in their offices with their personal assistants, company cars, mobile phones and bonuses, whilst making decisions over buffets about people’s futures that they never meet or understand.  It is also worthy of note that these directors are still employed on big pay packets with jaw dropping bonuses and will leave with a golden handshake, why – for running a company into the ground.  We at the GMB union gave this bid our full backing as did the Unity bank and many others and we are shocked that it did not succeed as it was believed to be a winning proposition for everyone.

All of the statements and rhetoric that this Government has made about such enterprises means nothing when it comes down to cold hard cash.

Should the sale proceed we will be monitoring the new owners very closely and asking them what their vision and plans are for the business, if they do not meet the high standards set by the workers bid we will know that deep pockets won over the best interests of our disabled members and we will be making our voices heard.”

Ends

Contact: Dominic Hinks, GMB Organiser on 07957 266945 or 0121 550 4888 or GMB Press Office: 020 7391 6755 or 07974 251823.

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