Future of factory staff uncertain in face of takeover

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Uncertainty surrounds the future of the 92 staff at Sheffield’s Remploy factory as takeover talks take place.

Barnsley-based Metalliform is currently in talks about buying Remploy’s furniture business, which has a factory at Brightside Lane, Newhall, Sheffield, as well as sites in Blackburn, Lancashire and Port Talbot, South Wales.

However, Metalliform has said some jobs will be lost and it may not keep all the sites open.

Trade union represenatives have met managers from Metalliform, based at Hoyland, to discuss the impact of the takeover on the workforce.

In a message to Remploy staff, Jerry Nelson and Kevin Hepworth, of the GMB, said: “It was made clear by Metalliform that if it was to buy the business it would be very likely that a site or sites may close and a reduction of employees would be needed.

“They also indicated they would wish to reach agreements with the trades unions on changes to the terms and conditions for the future.

“These changes would include rates of pay, length of working week, redundancy pay and absence policy.”

Another meeting between unions and Metalliform is scheduled for Friday, July 12.

The Government has put Remploy up for sale because it has decided the subsidy given to the company would be better-spent supporting disabled staff in mainstream employment.

Remploy’s Chesterfield factory, which supplied healthcare products, has already been transferred to private firm R Healthcare.