Mark Lazarowicz MP has condemned the betrayal of Edinburgh Remploy workers by Government and calls on all sides to work together to support workers made redundant.
The North and Leith MP was reacting to news that the Edinburgh Remploy factory in South Gyle is to close. Mark Lazarowicz MP for Edinburgh North and Leith has attacked the betrayal by the UK Government of disabled workers at the factory and called on Remploy, the Department of Work and Pensions, Scottish Government and the City Council to work together to help find the workers alternative employment.
Mr Lazarowicz (pictured below) said: “The news makes me wonder whether the Government was genuinely seeking to find bids to keep factories open or whether it was simply offering false hope. One of the stated aims of its welfare changes is to support disabled people into work wherever possible – laudable in principle but it is hard to square that with the way that it has treated Remploy workers. Staff will now find themselves out of work at a time when unemployment in Scotland is almost two and a half million. I call upon Remploy, the Department of Work and Pensions, Scottish Government and the City Council to make a concerted effort to help them find alternative employment.”
The factory was reprieved from closure along with other factories in July as the Remploy Board deemed that there was a potentially viable business plan to secure its future, but those hopes have now been dashed.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that there had been an expression of interest in the factory, but that it had gone no further. She added: ”We have followed the advice of disability expert Liz Sayce to use the £320m protected budget for disability employment more effectively, to support more disabled people into mainstream jobs instead of loss-making segregated factories. We have put in place an £8m package of employment support for those affected, including a Personal Case Worker to help individuals with their future choices, as well as access to a personal budget.”