The closure of 27 Remploy factories and the consignment of more than 1,200 mainly disabled workers to the scrapheap, commences in less than a fortnight. “Factory Killer” Tory ministers Maria Miller and Iain Duncan Smith have argued that the factories are not viable.
IDS even insulted Remploy workers saying that they were “not doing any work… just making cups of coffee”.
Such an insult contradicts the success achieved by the labours of Remploy workers in a harsh economic climate.
Alan Hill, Managing Director of Remploy Enterprise Businesses announced recently :
“We have grown our sales by 12.2%, a fantastic achievement.”
The reward for that “fantastic achievement” is the dole and further attacks on the rights of disabled workers , many of whom have worked decades at Remploy.
To add insult to injury, Remploy workers have been informed that should they transfer to a private employer, they will see their pensions reduced.
This is because the Tories have assured companies buying a Remploy business that they will not have to provide a pension of similar value for current Remploy employees that transfer.
By refusing to ensure that new employers stick to the Fair Deal pension policy, the Tories have acted like the bully that kicks their victims where they are down.
Unite regional officer, Kevin Hepworth said:
“This is a bombshell for those workers at Remploy factories that will be sold off. This is a cruel blow, hacking away at the retirement incomes of workers with disabilities.
But Remploy workers are not prepared to throw the towel in yet.
Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary, said:
“After the two days of strike action we are now asking the Remploy workers to discuss the next stage in the campaign. This could include demonstrations in London and other cities in September during the Para- Olympic games. We are not ruling out further industrial action.”
Unite and the GMB have called a mass lobby at the DWP’s offices in Westminster.
Trade unionists and activists should bring banners, delegations and collections to spur the continued struggle for jobs at Remploy.
SAVE REMPLOY FACTORIES
Wednesday 8th August from 10am
Department of Work and Pensions
6-12 Tothill Street
(nearest tube Westminster)
Called by Unite and GMB