Remploy workers to take strike action

Published date: 06 July 2012 |
Published by: Lois Hough
Read more articles by Lois Hough


REMPLOY workers are to strike in protest over the threat to their jobs.

Unite members at Remploy factories across the country, including Wrexham, will stage 24-hour strikes as the Government prepares to close or sell-off the 54 factories that provide employment for disabled workers.

The future of more than 40 disabled workers at the Wrexham plant has been in doubt since March, when it was revealed it was among those earmarked for closure.

Workers voted by large margins to take industrial action.

Sally Kosky, Unite national officer for the not-for-profit sector, said: “This vote for strike action demonstrates our members’ disgust at the way they have been treated by the government’s policies which are designed to throw them on the dole queue at a very difficult economic time.

“Our members are desperate to work in an environment that takes account of their disability and where they can make a valued contribution to society and pay their way.”

GMB national secretary Phil Davies 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.”

A total of 36 Remploy sites are due to close or be sold off in the near future, with the remaining 18 due to close or be sold-off next year.

Union members will strike on Thursday, July 19 and on Thursday, July 26.

A continuous overtime ban starts on Thursday, July 12.

A spokesman for Remploy said: “Remploy is disappointed the GMB and Unite unions are threatening to take industrial action. The company continues to consider proposals put forward by the unions as part of the consultation on the proposed closure or transfer into new ownership of 36 factories announced in March.

“Strike action will do nothing to secure the future jobs of Remploy staff.

“We are concerned industrial action could deter future buyers and existing customers as Remploy continues to explore future prospects for the 36 factories and the possibility of some moving into new ownership.”

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