Unions organise demonstration in Manchester against closure of 36 sites, despite 12% sales rise


New productivity figures reinforce the case for a U-turn on the decision to close 36 Remploy factories, says Unite, which is today in Manchester demonstrating with the GMB over the closures.

Pressure is mounting on Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith as Remploy’s own figures revealed sales have risen 12.2 per cent (£14 million) over the previous 12 months.

Unite is calling for the government to reverse its decision before the first redundancies are due to take place at the beginning of July.

Unite national officer for the not for profit sector Sally Kosky said: “The question has to be asked: ‘Why is Iain Duncan Smith hell-bent on throwing 1,500 mostly disabled workers onto the dole queue, when sales and productivity are increasing?’”

This message will be hammered home at a rally and march by Remploy workers in Manchester at 11am, organised by the Unite and GMB unions.

This is the latest protest in a series of events protesting at the government’s decision to shut 36 of the 54 remaining sites.

Sally Kosky said: “According to the management’s own figures, the cost to government is down by £16.5 million on the previous year – £2.5 million better than budget.

“Trainees are up to 2,500 from 1,800 in the previous year. Where and from whom would this training be forthcoming for so many disadvantaged people?

“It is well-known that disadvantaged workers have a very difficult time in finding mainstream employment – 85 per cent of disabled people made redundant by Remploy in 2008 are still out of work today.”

* At 12.15pm, there will be a march from Manchester Town Hall to Britannia Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Piccadilly where there will be a rally with speakers from 1.00pm.

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