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6 December 2012
ANNOUNCING 875 REMPLOY REDUNDANCIES THREE WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS IS DESPICABLE SAYS GMB
There is an alternative as workers could be put back to work making uniforms for our troops, police and nurses and furniture for our schools like they did before the work was outsourced to China
GMB responded to the announcement that 875 employees in total, including 682 disabled people across 15 Remploy factory sites and in 34 CCTV sites are at risk of redundancy.
Only 3 out of 54 factories at Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Burnley, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Clydebank, Coventry, Cowdenbeath, Croespenmaen, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Heywood, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Leven, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Neath Port Talbot, Newcastle, North London, North Staffordshire, Norwich, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Porth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Stirling, Sunderland, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham have a future. See company statement on what is to happen to 15 not closed in round one.
During August 24 Remploy sites were closed as follows: Aberdare, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Birkenhead, Bolton, Cleator Moor, Gateshead, Lanarkshire, London (Haringay), Manchester, Merthyr Tydfill, Newcastle, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham. The workers are now on the dole.
Leeds closed last Friday 30 Nov. Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent factories are due to close later in the year.
Phil Davies GMB National Secretary said“This is devastating news but not untypical from this uncaring government who cannot be relied on to protect the vulnerable. To make this announcement three weeks before Christmas is despicable.
Less that 40 of the 1,200 people made redundant in August and since have found jobs. The others are sitting at home isolated from the rest of society.
GMB are still putting together a dossier on the failure of the government to sell off as a going concern any of the first 36 factories to close. They are now adding another 15 factories adding another 700 disabled workers to the list of the unemployed.
The Sayce Report is not being followed as there is a total disregard of social enterprises and workers co-ops. Little or no help has been given to the disabled workers themselves to set up such enterprises. Neither have the disabled people been given the support and opportunities to retrain to get mainstream jobs they were promised in the Sayce Report. Only the Welsh Assembly has made real attempts to do this. Neither the UK or Scottish Governments have done anything to help of support these workers sacked as an act of public policy.
There is an alternative. These workers could be put back to work making uniforms for our troops, police and nurses and furniture for our schools like they did before the work was outsourced to China.
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 the Sayce Report and 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 disabled charities make “the best” the enemy of the “good”. They started with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and they wento through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and they 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" who are party to this despicable announcement.”