Remploy workers are to lobby Labour conference delegates over Coalition closure, redundancy plans. Unions have not ruled out further industrial action


Remploy workers from across the UK have arrived at the Labour Party conference as part of the union-led campaign against plans by Coalition ministers to enforce a redundancy and closure programme which they say will force nearly 2,000 disabled and vulnerable workers onto the dole.

(Pictured: Remploy workers on strike, Cowdenbeath, September 2012)

Over the summer, ministers began the process of closing down 30 Remploy factories.

The campaigners are calling for a halt to any further closures, as well as fair redundancy and pension packages to employees who have already been laid off.

The Remploy factories are the biggest employer of disabled workers in the UK and unions say the closures are having a devastating impact on people across the country.

There has been a series of rolling strikes at sites across the country since plans were announced last March to begin the closure programme.

Last month, Remploy workers struck at factories in Derbyshire and Scotland. Unions have not ruled out further industrial action in the coming weeks.

Kevin Hepworth, Unite regional officer, said: “Over the past few months we have rightly celebrated the inspiring feats achieved by our disabled athletes. But at the same time the nation was cheering on Team GB, Remploy workers were being thrown on the scrapheap.

“The government is planning on cruelly closing down 30 Remploy factories, forcing thousands of loyal hard working employees out of work.

“Given the appalling way this government have treated disabled people it is little wonder that 80,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium decided to boo George Osborne.

“Pressing ahead with further closures would be a disaster for Remploy workers and the wider economy.

“That is why members from Unite, GMB and Community unions are fighting to save every job and ensure that those who have been laid-off get proper pensions and redundancy settlements.”

Remploy wants to encourage more workers with disabilities into mainstream employment. But Unite fears that without a legal requirement to do so, employers will not take on disabled workers.

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