First day of strike action a great success – see report here
Trade unionists pledge support for Remploy fight – see report here
The Tory minister known by activists in the campaign to save jobs at Remploy as the “Factory Killer” lived up to her name yesterday.
Maria Miller confirmed to Parliament that 27 of the 54 Remploy factories will shut between August and December.
In doing so, the Minister for Disabled People will be throwing more than 1,200 disabled workers and more than a hundred of their workmates on the scrapheap.
Miller argues that the £320m budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.
And shamefully, some disability organisations, such as Radar agree with the closures as they are opposed to segregated employment.
Ellen Clifford, of Disabled People Against the Cuts said, “The government is using a report by the head of Radar to justify the Remploy closures. They use our language to justify their sinister assault on disabled people.”
The Government cares not a hoot for the futures of disabled people.
Work and Pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith recently insulted the Remploy workers saying that they were “not doing any work… just making cups of coffee” and that he was saving money and getting people into “proper jobs”.
However, since the last wave of Remploy closures, where New Labour shut 28 factories in 2008, just 6% of the 2,500 workers laid off managed to find new jobs.
With the ConDems continuing austerity drive, opportunities for disabled workers are far fewer.
And part of that austerity drive are massive cuts and attacks on disability benefits.
Remploy workers know that their fight against the factory closures is crucial.
That is why 80% of GMB members and 60% of Unite members voted for strike action in May.
The strikes take place from 6am on Thursday 19 July and from 6am on Thursday 26 July.
We urge every activist and every trade unionist to join the pickets at your nearest factory and bring your banners, your donations and your solidarity.
Email messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org