Sacked Remploy Workers Demonstrated Outside Leeds Remploy Factory On Its Last Day

9 Dec 2012

benny148's Remploy Leeds Closure album on Photobucket

Sacked Remploy workers in Leeds demonstrated outside of their factory today following its closure by the government.  Workers waited until they finished their final shift before beginning an emotional protest which saw a coffin, symbolising the death of Remploy, being taken to a nearby cemetery.

Leeds is one of 35 Remploy factories due to close by the end of the year with the compulsory redundancy of 1,752 people of whom 1,518 are disabled.

Phil Davies GMB National Officer said: “The Government is throwing disabled workers in Leeds and thirty-four other places out of work and on to the scrapheap. Sheltered workshops are allowed under EU procurement rules and can successfully keep disabled workers gainfully employed if supported by public contracts. Instead this government used RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories. 

Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. You could use the same argument against staging the Paralympic games.  These organizations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required. This is what happens when you make“the best” the enemy of the “good”. You start with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run.

They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for more than 2,700 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK. The Tories knew what they were doing using these “useful idiots”.

Statement from The Minister for Disabled Esther McVey MP