Remploy staff react to closure announcement

Colin Peter
Colin Peter

“WE were completely and utterly devastated.”

That’s how one worker described the feeling among staff at Leven’s Remploy factory when the 26 disabled people employed there found out their workplace was closing and they would all be losing their jobs.

Colin Peter (48) and his colleagues at the Banbeath Industrial Estate factory were told of the UK Government’s decision to close the business on Thursday.

Colin, who has worked there for 16 years, told the Mail the factory had to shut early, as staff were emotional and in no fit state to work the remainder of the day following the announcement.

“We were just completely and utterly devastated when we were told,” Colin said.

“We were just a bit dumbstruck and shocked. Quite a lot of people were upset and I was quite emotional myself.

“It is a huge loss to me as it’s the only full-time job that I’ve had.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling, as I knew something was going to happen but just didn’t expect it to happen when it did.

“That is everybody’s livelihood, that place... we always got on well – like a family – and now we are being split up.

“It’s the worst outcome for us all.

“I don’t want to be unemployed but it is going to happen.

“It’s going to feel strange not getting up and going out to start work at half past seven.

“There are some people there that might not be able to get another job.”

A final closing date hasn’t been announced yet but Colin, and his fellow workers, are under the impression it could be in about eight weeks time.

Colin added he was particularly concerned how some staff, which includes those with physical and mental disabilities, will cope with finding new jobs, paying bills and living without the social side of Remploy.

“I live on my own, I rent from the Council and I pay my rent every Monday but now that’s going to have to be looked at,” he continued.

“There is still work to get out though and now we know the situation we have to get it out as quick as we can.

“We’ve had some good times there. We get on with each other, we help each other out, we do things together and we all stick together – it’s going to be hard not seeing everyone as much.

“When I started at Remploy I was slow at picking things up but now I have gradually picked up my speed. Remploy has helped me quite a lot with literacy and numeracy classes there, other businesses wouldn’t be the same.”