Final jacket rolls out of axed Remploy

The last lifejacket produced by Remploy staff at Leven.
The last lifejacket produced by Remploy staff at Leven.

After losing a hard-fought campaign, emotional staff at Leven’s Remploy will close the factory’s doors for good tomorrow (Thursday).

But that poignant process of farewell to a history spanning 60 years began last Monday, as the last lifejacket rolled off the production line.

It meant staff were left to “twiddle their thumbs”, explained union representative Colin Cuthbert.

He said: “A lot of people had been anxious to help and keep busy by taking down signs and such like but other members of staff were upset to see the place torn apart in front of their eyes.

“As a union rep I was walking a tightrope to keep both sides satisfied.”

A Facebook group has been set up for ex-employees to join and keep in touch with former colleagues.

The Dept of Work and Pensions (DWP) has also established a Job Club which will meet in Methil Library two afternoons a week, beginning Monday.

“It will cushion the blow if nothing else,“ said Colin.

“Part of the problem is not just the financial hardship some people will find themselves in when the redundancy money goes, it’s the social aspect.

People will miss each other’s company and that, to me, is the biggest tragedy of it all.”

Meanwhile, staff have received assurances from campaigning politicians, including Lindsay Roy, to take the DWP to task if its promised support package does not materialise.

“There will be a few tears shed on Thursday because it’s real now, “ said Colin.

“It’s the end of an era.”