There is just one week left until the first wave of Remploy factory closures begin.
If the Tories and Remploy management get their way, a number of the 27 factories earmarked for closure will have shut by next Friday 17th August and by Christmas, 1,700 mainly disabled workers will be on the dole.
By calling off the strike that was due to take place on Monday 6th August, Unite and GMB national officials have squandered the massive support for Remploy workers shown by tens of thousands of ordinary people and many trade unionists and activists that have brought solidarity and donations to the picket lines during last month’s strikes.
In calling off the action on Monday, Unite and GMB officials promised that they were:
“developing a new strategy which will have more effect on the Government”
So far this has consisted of a token “symbolic” lobby of little more than a handful of Remploy workers holding a lobby at the DWP offices in Westminster.
No wonder then that many Remploy workers are angry, they realise that more needs to be done to build on the momentum from the strikes, more workers and supporters need to be involved if there is to be the kind of effective action that can halt the Tories’ plans.
But that anger should not be allowed to turn into demoralisation. There is still time, just.
Remploy workers have called a protest for this Monday at their Birkenhead plant.
Work needs to be done to ensure the biggest possible turnout from the trade union movement and activists on Merseyside to ensure that disabled workers are not left to fight alone.
Messages of support can be sent to Gareth.Rees@remploy.co.uk
Monday 13th August from 4.30pm
West Float Industrial Estate
Hickman’s Road (off Dock Road)