by Tim Lezard Three out of four former Remploy workers have failed to find a new job a year after their factories were closed, a survey shows. GMB national officer Jerry Nelson said: “It is now one year since the final day of the Remploy factory closur …

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Unknownby Tim Lezard

Three out of four former Remploy workers have failed to find a new job a year after their factories were closed, a survey shows.

GMB national officer Jerry Nelson said: “It is now one year since the final day of the Remploy factory closures, over 2,700 disabled workers had their lives destroyed by this Governments callous and thoughtless attack on the disabled workers, workers who relied on their employment to maintain their sense of independence working in an environment of protected equality. The factories were a sheltered environment and for many of these workers it was their only connection with life outside of their own homes.

“What people need to remember is that not one single disabled worker within the factories were asked how they would feel about the closures.

“We should know better than to expect that the thoughts or feelings of any worker could ever be considered by a right wing coalition government whose only aim is to feed the rich and greedy by bending the rules and taxation policies to benefit their kind.

“Disabled workers had their lives destroyed for what, so the top rate of tax could be cut from 50% to 45% giving the all the Conservatives and their friends another £50,000 a year in their pockets on every million pounds they earn.

“Is this everyone sharing the burden of austerity? We have a huge percentage of those members made redundant sat at home depressed and isolated from any forms of social interaction or inclusion. These are not there by choice. Unfortunately in many areas the economic climate is still depressed so there are not the jobs out there for able bodied workers so what chance a worker with severe learning or physical disabilities.

“We will never forget or forgive this atrocious attack on the most vulnerable members of this union by this government. They used the Sayce Report and RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories.

“Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution stigmatising it as a form of ghettoisation.

“These organisations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required.

“This is the outcome when disabled charities made “the best” the enemy of the “good”. They started with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They were then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and they went through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and they end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to sack disabled workers in 51 locations across the UK.

“The Tories knew what they were doing using these ‘useful idiots’ who were party to this attack on disabled workers. GMB will never forget the role of and RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire.”

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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