First day of strike action a great success – see report here
Trade unionists pledge support for Remploy fight – see report here
OVERWHELMING VOTE FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION OVER THE CLOSURE OF 54 REMPLOY FACTORIES WITH THE LOSS OF 2,800 DISABLED WORKERS JOBS
We now have the prospect of Remploy workers taking strike action to defend their jobs to avoid their certain destiny of being chucked on the economic scrapheap says unions
Members of GMB and Unite employed by Remploy in 54 factories across the country have voted by an overwhelming majority to take part in strikes and other industrial action to protest against the closure of the factories and disabled workers being forced in to unemployment. The trade union side in Remploy will give 7 days notice with immediate effect for a programme of strikes and other action.
The majority for strike action was 79.5% of the vote in the GMB. The majority for action short of a strike was 87.3% in GMB. The figures for Unite are 59.7% in favour of strike action and 76.1% in favour of action short of a strike.
There was a Ministerial statement on 7th March the House of Commons to announce the closure of 36 of the 54 remaining Remploy sites with compulsory redundancy for 1,752 people of whom 1,518 of these are disabled. The statement envisages the complete closure of all 54 factories in due course leading to 2,800 disabled workers jobs being lost. A 90 day consultation period was due to end last month (June) but it has been extended.
The Remploy factories schedules to close in the first wave are as follows: Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Croespenmaen, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Newcastle, North London, North Staffs, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham.
Phil Davies GMB National Secretary said, “The government’s intention to destroy thousands of disabled workers jobs in Remploy has given rise to an overwhelming vote for strike action against the proposed closures of their 54 factories. These closures are going ahead without any consideration of the feelings and needs of these workers and their families or their future job prospects. To close a factory that employs disabled people in the present economic climate is a sentence to life of unemployment and poverty.”
Kevin Hepworth, Unite National Officer said, “We now have the prospect of Remploy workers taking strike action to defend their jobs. By taking strike action they are trying to avoid their certain destiny of being chucked on the economic scrapheap. They deserve the support of all trade unionists and the public in Britain.”