Strike looms as Remploy shuts sites

Trade unions say disabled employees at contract manufacturer Remploy are ready to take industrial action over a planned series of factory closures. Around 90% of Remploy’s 11,000 employees are disabled. The government-owned company makes a range of products from textiles to wheelchairs and electro-mechanical assemblies for companies including Rover and Panasonic. Remploy is planning to […]

Trade unions say disabled employees at contract manufacturer Remploy are ready to take industrial action over a planned series of factory closures.

Around 90% of Remploy’s 11,000 employees are disabled. The government-owned company makes a range of products from textiles to wheelchairs and electro-mechanical assemblies for companies including Rover and Panasonic.

Remploy is planning to merge a number of its 84 UK plants, which would mean individual factories closing. Possible candidates for closure include three factories around Stoke-on-Trent, three in south Wales and one in Bradford, the work of which could be transferred to a Leeds site.

A Remploy spokeswoman said: `No disabled person will be made redundant.’

But unions say factory mergers mean up to 1,000 employees will be unable to continue working. Phil Davies, senior officer of the GMB, which represents most Remploy workers, said: `Many will not be able to take jobs in other factories because of the type of work or the travelling involved.

`The members are pushing for industrial action. We’re holding them back,’ he said.