Official Launch of York Disabled Workers’ Co-operative - Thursday, 28th October 2010

27 Oct 2010

There is the official launch tomorrow of a new garden furniture and pet accommodation production unit in York which has been set up by ex-Remploy workers as the York Disabled Workers Co-operative (YDWC). At the launch will be the major supporters of the co-operative including Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, Tim Roache, GMB Yorkshire Regional Secretary and Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary.

The invitation to the launch says: “Out of the Ashes of Remploy York, the York Disabled Workers Cooperative is born and you are invited to share in its vision and be part of an exciting new future for working disabled people in York. The purpose is to fill the void left by the closure of York factory with regards to the employment of disabled people.”

The launch will take place at:

1 PM on
THURSDAY 28TH OCTOBER 2010 at
YORK DISABLED WORKERS COOPERATIVE
26 THE RAYLOR CENTRE
JAMES STREET
YORK
YO10 3DW

The co-op has a range of samples and prototypes on timber products and is now in full production. It manufactures a full range of garden furniture including benches, sheds, fencing, flower planters/pots, ornamental wishing wells and wheelbarrows and pet accommodation such as dog kennels, rabbit hutches, and chicken runs as well as bee homes, ladybird homes, bat boxes, and hedgehog boxes, bird tables and nesting boxes. It also manufactures individual bespoke items made to order. The catalogue can be downloaded from http://www.gmb.org.uk

John Wilson, YWDC Founder Member said, “Tomorrow is a proud day for the disabled workers of York. We will be glad to welcomes all those who helped us to set up the York Disabled Workers Co-operative (YDWC).

On Monday 23rd August we saw our first disabled employee being taken on from the people who elected to stay on Remploy terms and conditions. He is being paid by Remploy and this arrangement will be reviewed after 12 months. That was a major milestone in the short history of the YDWC.

We are now starting to redress the injustice of the closure of the Remploy factory in York. All our machinery has been installed and the timber has been stored in racks, we are now ready to go.

We have a range of samples and prototypes and have started full production. Our main products will be not only garden products but products that will enhance the bio-diversity of the garden. We manufacture a full range of garden furniture including benches, sheds, fencing, flower planters/pots, ornamental wishing wells and wheelbarrows and pet accommodation such as dog kennels, rabbit hutches, and chicken runs as well as bee homes, ladybird homes, bat boxes, and hedgehog boxes, bird tables and nesting boxes. We also manufacture individual bespoke items made to order.
We need orders to keep the new co-operative busy and for it to be a success. We are appealing for help from all quarters to help us succeed.”

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary said, “The current economic situation and the potential of massive job losses in the public and private sector will exacerbate the situation and make the chances of decent employment for disabled people that much less. The co-op will provide an opportunity in York for decent employment for disabled people and hopefully take on a young apprentice who will have the opportunity to learn woodworking skills that could stand him/her in good stead for the rest of their lives. That is why we are here, that is why we are passionate about YDWC.”