Jim McGovern condemns Remploy ‘betrayal’

4 July 2013 

Dundee West MP Jim McGovern today slammed the government’s announcement that the Remploy factory in Dundee was to close.

Department for Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey said that while interest had been expressed in the Remploy businesses in Scotland no “best and final offer” had been received and as a result the government had decided to close down the operation.

This comes despite repeated calls by Mr McGovern to find a way to save the Remploy factory in Dundee.

Esther McVey accepted an invitation made by Mr McGovern and visited the site in January this year.

Mr McGovern also criticised the decision made by the Ministry of Defence in June not to give a £6m contract to Remploy for protective clothing for the armed forces, awarding it instead to a company in North Africa.

The Scottish Affairs Committee, which Mr McGovern sits on, recently recommended that further time be allowed for bids to be made, and that the DWP’s involvement in the process had been unhelpful in finding buyers for the Scottish factories.

Jim McGovern said;

“This decision is nothing short of a betrayal by this government.

“It was clear throughout this process that their commitment to the factory was lacking and their efforts were half hearted.

“The way the Department for Work and Pensions has handled this process is beyond shambolic, it is quite shameful.

“ It is clear to me that their aim from the outset was to dispose of the factories, regardless of the impact on the workforce or on the local economies of places like Dundee.”

“The government could have decided to award contracts to the factory which would have ensured a full order book.

“This would have made the factory a more appealing investment for potential buyers.

“Instead they starved the company out of existence.”

“The Scottish Government and Dundee City Council have also been found lacking in their support for Remploy.

“Like their Welsh counterparts the Scottish Government could have taken on responsibility for the factories, instead they opted not to.

“The SNP administration in Dundee similarly failed to take responsibility for the factory and did not act to save it.

“This announcement will be devastating for the talented and committed workforce.

“They deserved far better from those in authority in London, Edinburgh and Dundee.”

Mr McGovern added,

“I will be offering whatever support I can to those who are now facing redundancy, and I will keep the pressure on the government to ensure that those workers are given the best possible support to find new jobs.”

 

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