Staff at Chesterfield site have voted to walk out from Tuesday to Friday next week in dispute over redundancy, pension rights

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Workers at a Remploy factory earmarked for being sold to a new owner have voted for a four-day strike next week.

Staff at the Chesterfield site, which manufacturers medical braces and other equipment for the NHS, are angry that the potential new owners are providing no lasting guarantees of workers’ pension and redundancy rights.

Activists say the current sell-off plans could cost some of the 64 workers at the plant tens of thousands of pounds if they are made redundant more than six months after the takeover.

At a meeting yesterday, Remploy workers voted to strike from Tuesday 28 August to Friday 31 August.

The Chesterfield factory is one of nine Remploy factories which the Department of Work and Pensions has said could be sold to new owners, rather than closed down.

Workers say the current proposals will only guarantee staff pension and redundancy rights for the first six months. Some staff have worked at the Chesterfield site for more than twenty years and they fear they could lose their rights to substantial redundancy payments from the new owner.

They also say there are no firm guarantees that the company will honour their rights to remain in the existing final salary pension scheme.

Coalition ministers intend to close or sell off all 54 Remploy factories by autumn 2013.

The first of the factory closures began last week.

Remploy says government employment agencies found jobs for more than 300 people with disabilities in Chesterfield last year.

However, unions say almost 90% of Remploy workers made redundant in the last major round of job cuts remain unemployed, more than two years later.


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