MORE than 40 disabled workers in Sheffield, Chesterfield and Worksop have applied for voluntary redundancy at Remploy factories, after the company announced plummeting production levels.
Remploy, which helps get disabled people into work and runs factories across the country, says production has been running at just 50 per cent capacity because of the economic downturn.
Workers at all the companies sites were offered voluntary redundancy - including 120 staff at Brightside Lane in Sheffield, 80 in Chesterfield and nine in Worksop.
Company bosses said 19 staff in Sheffield have applied to be laid off, along with 21 in Chesterfield and four in Worksop.
A Remploy spokesman said: “We will now consider carefully every application for voluntary redundancy. Some applications may not be accepted if employees have specific skills which are essential to the operation of our businesses.
“Consultations on the programme will continue with the trade unions until the beginning of May.
“We will also engage in individual consultations with employees who have applied for redundancy.”
He said the company’s business had been hit by the recession and general decline in manufacturing.
“In these circumstances it has been increasingly difficult for Remploy to fulfil its mission of transforming the lives of disabled people through sustainable employment, with many of our factories operating significantly below capacity and unable to provide meaningful work for our employees.
“We also have a commitment to remain within our five-year operational funding limit confirmed last year by the Coalition Government .
“We have identified and are implementing a wide range of measures to improve the operational efficiency of the business.”
Trade unions ran a fierce campaign to try to persuade staff to reject the voluntary redundancy offers.
They claimed bosses had failed to consult with representatives.