Comments by Dennis Skinner came as Chesterfield Remploy workers (pictured) voted for further 5 days of strikes


The veteran Labour MP, Dennis Skinner has told a union support rally for Remploy strikers (pictured) that their factories have been singled out by the Coalition government for sale and closure because workers at Remploy ‘understand solidarity’.

The Bolsover MP was speaking after workers at the Chesterfield factory voted to take a further 5 days of strike action, beginning on 17 September.

Remploy union reps say the purpose of the continuing industrial action is to show ministers ‘we are not going to go away’.

Around 100 Remploy workers and supporters in Chesterfield heard Dennis Skinner (pictured, below) tell the town centre rally: “One of the reasons this government and others have not taken very kindly to Remploy over the years is that people who go to work at Remploy understand solidarity – and you don’t get that at Macdonalds.”

Referring to the closure of a Remploy factory in his own constituency, he said: “A few years ago, grandiose promises were made that [disabled workers] would be able to walk into places and get a job.

“I have to tell you, many years later, most of the Pinston Remploy workers are still scratching about on the dole.

“And that’s what will happen here.

“[Government ministers] care about the Paralympians and yet this hypocritical millionaires row of a government, they don’t give a shit about the people who really work for a living.”

GMB Remploy regional rep, James Stibly, who also works at the Chesterfield site, told UnionNews: “We’re absolutely solid and holding it together.

“They’ve voted to do five days of strike action but they wanted to stay out indefinitely.

“The message to the government is, basically: this problem isn’t going away and we won’t let it go away.”

Unions representing up to 1,800 Remploy workers facing redundancy are continuing to demand information from the employers and Department of Work and Pensions about the terms of the sale of nine factories.

They are also calling on the DWP to halt the planned closure of nearly 20 other sites.

During an occupation of Remploy’s head office last month, GMB and Unite reps were promised ‘urgent’ talks with the then Disabilities Minister, Maria Miller, who has now been moved to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in David Cameron’s government reshuffle.

It means no meeting between unions and the DWP has taken took place since the closure timetable has come into force.

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