The government announcement that a further 875 Remploy workers face the axe was branded as ‘cruel, callous and calculated’ by Unite, the country’s largest union today (Thursday 6 December).
Unite questioned why this was being announced just before Christmas, when the Remploy workers already made redundant had struggled to find alternative employment in a grim jobs market.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The timing is callous so close to Christmas when ministers had previously said the funding for those sites, due to close or be sold off in 2013, was secure until August and September next year.
“It is a cruel decision, given that of those sacked in the first round of closures, only about 50 have found new jobs in the last three months.
“We call on ministers to stop the closure programme immediately until there is a review of the shambles of selling-off Remploy sites to commercial interests, and we can see evidence of the much heralded £8 million ’Help and Support Package‘ for those disabled workers already sacked.
“Our members are getting no additional support to get into work or training.
“Workers at several sites have been told the factory had been bought and has a future, but later they are informed the prospective buyer has withdrawn so the factory will close anyway. There have been many complaints from potential buyers over the bidding process.
“Once again, this reveals a heartless and calculating government, putting cost-cutting before the real needs and employment prospects of disabled workers. It is a national disgrace.”
The government announced today that a further 875 employees, including 682 disabled workers, are at risk of losing their jobs at Remploy factories,
There were originally 54 Remploy factories. In the summer the government announced that 27 factories will close by the end of this year throwing about 1,700 disabled workers out-of-work. A further nine factories faced an uncertain future.
The remaining 18 sites were due to close or be sold-off next year – but this process has now been accelerated by today’s announcement.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Remploy was established in 1945 as part of the new welfare state, providing employment for injured soldiers and today is still a workplace for men and women returning from wars around the world.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.