Hundreds of Remploy workers in Scotland begin 24 hour strike as campaigners lobby DWP minister at Scottish Parliament


Hundreds of Remploy workers in Scotland begin a further 24 hour strike today as campaigners are expected to lobby the disabilities minister charged with implementing a far-reaching factory closure programme.

(Pictured: Remploy workers on strike in Springburn, Glasgow. September 2012)

Unions have called on Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond to save five Remploy factories – and the jobs of 200 disabled people working at the sites – at a meeting in the Scottish Parliament later today of an SNP task force.

The strike action – at sites in Cowdenbeath, Dundee, Glasgow and Leven – comes as DWP disabilities minister, Esther McVey, is due to visit the Edinburgh parliament and is expected to be lobbied by scores of Remploy workers.

Unite regional officer, Lyn Turner said: “Alex Salmond has now received more than 3,000 emails from Unite members in Scotland urging him to attend the taskforce meeting and step in to save the remaining jobs.

“By Monday, he will have thousands more messages as we intensify our email campaign.”

In July, the UK government announced that 27 factories will close by the end of the year throwing some 1,700 disabled workers out-of-work.

A further nine factories face an uncertain future.

The remaining 18 sites are due to close or be sold-off next year.

Phil Davies, GMB national secretary said: “The Scottish government needs to adopt a progressive view to disability – as highlighted by the public’s positive response to the Paralympics – and make strenuous efforts to save the remaining Remploy factories and jobs in Scotland.”

Workers say the Department of Work and Pensions has refused to build in guarantees that their jobs, pay and rights will be protected if their factories are sold to new owners.

The unions have also held a series of one-day strikes across the company’s UK workplaces to try to secure improvements in redundancy settlements for those workers sacked under the closures programme.

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