Hundreds of Remploy workers and supporters join protests across UK against closures threat (Pictured: Remploy workers march on Westminster, following DWP protest)
(Pictured: Remploy workers blockade DWP head office, London)
1,752 workers are threatened with compulsory redundancy if the closure plans go ahead.
1,518 of them are disabled.
Protests took place on Friday outside offices in London, Sheffield and Edinburgh of the Department of Work and Pensions.
Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary said “These demonstrations are a measure of the massive public support for the continuation of Remploy factories.
“It is now clear that this government will use the money that was agreed to employ disabled people to privatise its Employment Services business. It is outrageous that the government can take away the jobs of disabled workers the length and breadth of the UK to carry out an ideological privatisation.”
Tracy Lazard, chief executive of the disability rights organisation Inclusion London told UnionNews : “This is a cynical decision by the government.
“At a time of mass unemployment, it is the wrong decision, at the wrong time, in the wrong way.
“We would like to see these factories taken over by the workers and run as social enterprise.”
Labour MP John McDonnell told a supporters’ meeting in London on Thursday: “The threatened closure of these factories is a brutal example of what this government is capable of.”
Campaigners are concerned that hundreds of disabled workers made redundant in previous cuts to staff at Remploy factories remain unemployed, several years later.
Kevin Hepworth, Unite Officer with responsibility for Remploy said “We expect hundreds of people, workers from Remploy and members of the public to attend these demonstrations.
“We have received a huge number of telephone calls from disabled people who are concerned that their family members and members of their community will be denied this type of support in the future. We call on the government to honour its commitment given less than a year ago that no disabled worker would be made compulsory redundant in Remploy.”
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