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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 16:41 GMT
Pledge to help redundancy workers
Wheelchair
The factory is due to close at the end of August
Bosses at a wheelchair manufacturer which is set to close have promised to make sure staff being made redundant are well-placed to find another job.

Lomax Mobility chiefs met Dundee East SNP MP Stewart Hosie to discuss plans to shut the factory, with the loss of 95 jobs.

A small office will remain in the city, providing customer and technical help.

Managers admit that, because of global competition, it is unlikely the factory will be able to be saved from closure.

Human resources director, Paul Richards, said: "We continue to talk to all various parties, but we are in a very harsh UK manufacturing environment.

"Sadly, the investments we've made over the last two years have led us to this day, even though we have invested, so it's going to be difficult to see how we can reverse this decision.

"But nevertheless we will carry on talking to anyone who's interested in talking to us."

The Lomax factory was bought by Sunrise Medical in 2005. It is now transferring work to China, and other sites across the globe.

Unions have accused Sunrise of buying the Dundee firm while it was extremely profitable, then running it into the ground.

It is a claim operations manager at Lomax, Kevin Maclean, rejects.

Sunrise should recognise the long-term service and loyalty of the employees at Lomax in terms of redundancy payments
Stewart Hosie MP

"We would absolutely refute that," he said.

"I was the operations manager before the Sunrise acquisition and despite significant investment it's just too little faced with the market pressures we're getting from places like the Far East."

The Claverhouse plant is due to shut at the end of August, with the first redundancies coming in April.

Mr Richards said: "We will be working very closely with the PACE [Partnership Action for Continuing Employment] team and Jobcentre Plus and other government agencies to create job opportunities for all those people.

"On site here, we've already established a room where we're going to create our own internal job centre, we're going to run skills workshops.

"Really people are our number one priority going forward now, and we want to try to give the best possible opportunity to these people to give them a chance of getting a job outside Lomax in this very sad situation."

Mr Hosie said: "I expressed my deep deep disappointment at this latest of a series of manufacturing jobs losses in the city.

"Sunrise should recognise the long-term service and loyalty of the employees at Lomax in terms of redundancy payments."



SEE ALSO
Wheelchair manufacturer to close
08 Jan 08 |  Tayside and Central

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