Government announces closure of factories with job losses of 1,750

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The GMB and Unite have strongly condemned today’s announcement in the House of Commons that the government is to close 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy sites with the loss of 1,752 jobs.

While GMB national secretary Phil Davies said: “This decision is one of the worst decisions that this discredited coalition government has taken since coming to office”, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey described the decision as “barbaric”.

Phil Davies said: “It is an attack on the most vulnerable members of our society. Thousands of disabled workers will now pay with their jobs for the incompetence of this government and other public sector bodies that did not take advantage of EU procurement rules that allow supported manufacturing jobs for disabled workers. These factories have lacked support for years and have never been properly loaded with enough work to make them economically viable.

“I never thought that I would live to see the day that an organisation set up to provide sustainable employment for disabled people being shut down.

“It is a disgrace that a number of large charities, set up to help disabled people and run by very well paid, able bodied people, have misled the British public and provided the government with the cover to undertake this despicable act of sacking disabled workers. Shame on them.”

Len McCluskey said: “This is a barbaric decision. The government has sunk to a new low by sacking over 1,000 disabled workers. To choose to cut these jobs only a few days after the government passed the welfare bill is proof it has no intention of helping the most vulnerable in society, instead the coalition is only making life worse.

“In the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, these workers prospects of finding work are almost zero. Unite is determined to fight this decision.”

Unite national officer Kevin Hepworth said: “GMB and the other trade unions in Remploy will not stand by and allow this attack to go unanswered. The next step is for a substantial period of consultation. Shop Steward from all the factories will be meeting on the 26/27th March to set out a plan of action.

Watch our film report campaign the campaign to stop the creation of a 2-tier workforce and to keep the Remply factories open:


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