Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/14119
Stop Remploy factory closures!
Swansea Trades Council has pledged its support to the ongoing fight to save remploy factories, following yesterday's announcement by the government of the closure of 36 factories and seven of the nine in Wales, including Swansea.
Swansea Trades Council press release 7.3.12
Fight destruction of Remploy
Swansea Trades Council condemns unreservedly the announcement today that the government plans to close 36 out of 54 Remploy factories across the UK and 7 out of 9 in Wales, including the site in Fforestfach. Up to 1,700 disabled workers stand to be sacked; 1,700 skilled, productive jobs lost.
Let's be clear - the Sayce Review into Remploy was never about the viability of the Remploy plants or about integrating disabled workers into the "mainstream" workforce.
From the start, trade unionists in Remploy were of the opinion that it was all a sham to justify cuts.
Today's announcement from the government, on implementing the recommendations of Sayce, confirms the correctness of this suspicion.
This announcement is about one thing only, cuts! It is part and parcel of the government's cuts agenda - making working class people pay for a crisis that was not of our making.
The decisions to close the Coastgaurd Centre and now Remploy prove that the government doesn't care about the importance of the service or who is hit, as long as it's not their own rich backers.
Past Remploy closures prove that many of these workers will not find another job if these factories are shut.
Swansea Trades Council is proud to support disabled trade unionists in Remploy in their continuing fight.
If the government thought that the size of the workforce or the fact that they are disabled makes Remploy workers a soft target, they are very much mistaken.
Remploy workers need the support of every trade unionist and all those fighting the cuts; please urgently send messages of solidarity and pledge to support them in whatever action they decide on.
Ronnie Job, Secretary Swansea Trades Council, 07963 454041
Remploy GMB convenor Les Woodward says:
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.
Angry at the fact that the whole consultation farce was a sham and bitter because a vast swathe of the disability lobby have allowed themselves to be used by the government to add some sort of justification for an act that is quite patently unjustifiable.
The disability lobby says that the Remploy model of employment of disabled people is outdated and disabled people do not want to work in "segregated employment".
With the unemployment figures growing almost daily, over a million youth unemployed and 13 jobs being lost in the public sector to every one made 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.
The other stark reality is that the rather limp promise of full support for Remploy workers to find alternative work is nothing less than an illusion.
There are few if any jobs out there, less fulltime jobs and even less jobs going with the same level of understanding, support and quality of terms and conditions that are trade union negotiated in Remploy.
This attack on the most vulnerable group of workers in society 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 in 2012, illustrates quite starkly the lengths that the ruling class will go to, to prop up their sick, ailing and doomed rotten capitalist system.
Remploy receives a £111 million subsidy to employ disabled people. This sounds a lot of money but put into context, the government may have spent that in a couple of hours bombing the living daylights out of the Iraqi people.
With jobs in jeopardy, benefits being cut, and no possibility of employment, Remploy workers have no alternative but to fight as hard as they can to protect their jobs and their factories and it is a fight that we will be taking straight to the government.