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Sheffield Remploy workers 'thrown on the scrapheap'

Remploy factory set to close despite bids from private firms to take it over

Seventy-five disabled workers in Sheffield will be thrown on the scrap heap at the end of next month when their Remploy furniture factory closes its doors for good.

The factory is the latest victim of the heartless decision to close or sell off Britain's network of Remploy factories, which provided thousands of disabled people with useful work.

The Remploy Board have decided the Sheffield factory, which employs 80 staff in total, is "not viable" - but rejected a number of bids from private firms to take it over as a going concern, including one from Hull-based Claughtons.

GMB convenor for Remploy in Yorkshire James Stribley said: "Remploy's claim that the business is not viable is totally misleading when Claughtons are willing to take over the business and turn it around saving 70 jobs.

"The Remploy workers have been let down severely by Remploy management and the Department for Work and Pensions who have failed disabled people miserably."

Mr Stribley said the closure marked the "death of Remploy" and warned that many of the workers could be condemned to a life on benefits.

"Many members will lose their dignity - not just their job. There are no jobs for disabled people," he said.

Cloughtons managing director Gerard Toplass demanded to know why the firm's "viable" bid had been rejected.

"The problem is not with the workforce but that the factory has inadequate products and the wrong sales strategy," he told the Sheffield Star.

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