The Socialist 15 March 2012
Resist Cameron's cold cruelty
Resist Cameron's cold cruelty
Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Bob Severn
The slogan 'we are the 99%' has shaken the rich 1% and their representatives in parliament. It has pushed Tory prime minister David Cameron to talk about 'moral', 'caring' and 'popular' capitalism.
However, it is the brutal reality of the cuts - supported by the Tories, Lib Dems and New Labour - that shows how caring these big business mouthpieces really are.
Unemployment is rising. Benefits are being slashed. Among the latest to face the Con-Dems' axe are 1,700 disabled workers in skilled, productive jobs as 36 Remploy factories face closure.
Remploy's national trade union convenor, Les Woodward, reports.
The announcement of the closure of 36 Remploy factories and the privatisation/closure of a further 18 in the near future has left Remploy workers bitter and angry.
The consultation process was a sham. A vast swathe of the disability lobby allowed themselves to be used by the government to add some sort of justification by saying that the Remploy model was outdated and disabled people do not want to work in "segregated employment".
With 13 jobs being lost in the public sector to every job 'created' in the private sector, the stark truth is that most working class people with disabilities would love a chance for employment either in a Remploy factory or anywhere else.
And the rather limp promise of full support for Remploy workers to find alternative work is an illusion.
Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Chris Moore
There are few if any jobs out there, even less jobs with the same level of understanding, support and quality of terms and conditions that were trade union negotiated in Remploy.
This attack on a vulnerable group of workers by a vicious, nasty little government made up of public school toffs who will never know what life is really like in Con-Dem Britain, illustrates the lengths that the ruling class will go to, to prop up their sick, rotten capitalist system.
Remploy receives a £111 million subsidy to employ disabled people - nothing compared to the billions of pounds of public money used to bail out the banks or the £4.5 billion spent annually on the occupation of Afghanistan.
With jobs in jeopardy, benefits being cut, and no possibility of employment, Remploy workers have no alternative but to fight hard to protect their jobs and their factories.
Messages of support can be sent via firstname.lastname@example.org and
Meetings to organise support of Remploy workers include a London Disabled People Against the Cuts meeting on 20 March and a Swansea trades council meeting on 21 March - see www.socialistparty.org.uk/whatson for more details
"The National Shop Stewards Network has forged a close relationship with Remploy workers all over the country and we are offering all our resources to Remploy workers and their unions to build the necessary campaign to win this battle. The NSSN calls on all its supporters and its affiliated organisations to contact their local Remploy factory and offer assistance."
Rob Williams, Chair, National Shop Stewards Network.
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