Pioneers Post

Remploy workers demonstrate in London and Sheffield in fight to save their jobs

19 April 2012

Hundreds of disabled workers will demonstrate tomorrow (Friday, 20 April) outside Parliament and the Department for Work and Pensions offices in London and Sheffield.

The Remploy workers are angry at the coalition government’s decision to shut 36 of the 54 Remploy sites this summer with the remaining 18 sites envisaged to close soon after. Compulsory redundancies are on the cards for 1,752 people. Of these 1,518 are disabled.

This decision was made on 7 March, just days after the government announced the Welfare Bill aimed at helping people into work.

Gail Cartmail, Unite union’s assistant general secretary, said: ‘Our members feel outrage that the government could take jobs from disabled people in this current climate. How are they expected to find work when there are 2.65 million people in the queue in front of them?

‘The government say that disabled people should be in mainstream employment, but the jobs just aren’t there for them. And very often when disabled workers are in mainstream employment they suffer excessive levels of bullying and harassment.’

Phil Davies, GMB national officer for Remploy staff, said: ‘We must show the strength of feeling that taking jobs from disabled people should not be tolerated in a civilised society. It will not improve the country’s financial situation – it may well make it worse. Join us in the fight to save Remploy at these demonstrations.’

The Remploy factories to close in the first wave are as follows: Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Croespenmaen, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Newcastle, North London, North Staffs, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham.