Remploy Factories Under Attack

23 Aug 2011

A rally in Wakefield Town Hall on Friday, 19th August 2011, saw politicians, trade unionists, Remploy employees and the general public come together to campaign against the proposed closure of Remploy factories and privatisation of Employment Services. All 54 factories are under threat with potential job losses of more than 2500 disabled people. The GMB-organised rally followed a demonstration held the same day at the Department of Work and Pensions in Sheffield.

Remploy is the biggest and most important employer of disabled people in Britain but the Sayce report published earlier this year recommended withdrawing funding from Remploy. The government has opened a consultation period and GMB are campaigning hard to defend Remploy workers.

Speaking at the rally, Labour Councillor for Walkley in Sheffield, Nikki Sharpe, said: “Disabled people like the workers of Remploy deserve to be treated with dignity, the basic fundamental right which we all deserve. Barriers need to be broken down, and not put up.” Highlighting the most recent figures of 2.5 million unemployed, she asked, “What about disabled people? How will they find employment if the Remploy factories close in this present economic climate?”

Tim Roache, Regional Secretary, said:  “We will not stand by and watch any more Remploy factories shut down.  We will put whatever resources are needed into the campaign to protect the jobs of disabled workers.”

As well as the rally, GMB are asking people to sign a petition to be sent to David Cameron asking the government to support some of the most vulnerable people in society and demanding that Remploy factories remain open. James Stribley, shop steward at Remploy said that the campaign would “fight for every job”.

For further details of events that are happening in the region contact the GMB on 0845 337 7777.  We need your support!