Remploy staff worry as talks about takeover are cancelled

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A meeting to discuss the future of three Remploy furniture factories, including Sheffield’s, has been cancelled.

Members of the GMB trade union and Barnsley-based company Metaliform, which is interested in taking on the three furniture factories, had been due to meet tomorrow.

James Stribley, GMB Remploy spokesman, said: “We have just been informed that the meeting, to take place between the GMB and Metaliform in London tomorrow, is now cancelled.

“All we have been told is the would-be buyer has ‘issues to clarify and resolve’ with accountants KPMG and the Department for Work and Pensions. I am sure this will annoy members even more but the situation is out of our hands.”

“Here in Sheffield we are extremely disappointed. We thought we would hear some news over the future of the site and the furniture business and what is happening.

“People have requested to leave on early release but 33 people in Sheffield have been declined and, if they leave now, they will receive only 50 per cent of redundancy pay.

“We hope this is not the end of the bid. All we can do now is wait, likewise at the other two factories in Neath in South Wales, and Blackburn, Lancashire.”

Delays to the talks about the future of Sheffield’s Remploy factory, on Brightside Lane, come after an announcement that nine factories will close. The factories to shut include four in England and five in Scotland.