GMB organises protest to flag up the closure of 36 factories nationwide


Sacked Remploy workers will today demonstrate at the Tory Party Conference over the closure of 36 factories with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people, of whom 1,518 are disabled.

They will be outside the conference venue in Broad Street, Birmingham from 8.30am to 2.30pm.

GMB national officer Phil Davies said: “We intend to bring home to Conservative activists the harsh reality of decisions made by this government to close Remploy factories and the cynical way ministers used disabled charities to throw disabled workers out of work.

“Sheltered workshops are allowed under EU procurement rules and can successfully  keep disabled workers gainfully employed if supported by public contracts. Instead this government used 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“Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. You could use the same argument against staging the Paralympic games.

“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 what happens when you make “the best” the enemy of the “good”. You start with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – being used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for more than 2,700 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK.

“We are asking all our supporters to join us outside the Conference on 10 October.”

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