Don’t Destroy Remploy!

7 08 2012

Don't destroy remploy stickerThough Remploy workers have held two 24-hour strikes recently that have received tremendous public and media support and in which an impressive 80% of the workers took part, this government is still failing to listen.

On Sunday The Express  reported on a strongly-worded letter that Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary, penned to Remploy ­chairman, Ian Russell, condemning him for not publicly defending the 1,700 plus employees facing compulsory redundancy:

It is unacceptable that at the time when thousands of disabled workers are losing their jobs you cannot find the time to express your concerns. Vulnerable people, some with mental health issues and many with learning difficulties, are at their wits’ end feeling betrayed and disappointed by the ­Government, Remploy and yourself, the person who should care and fight for them.

You must admit that you have neglected your duty of care and have not uttered a word of objection against the way these closures have been ­conducted and your employees treated.

You are betraying disabled people and you are turning your back on them once again. Disabled people in Remploy are now being thrown on the scrapheap and you are doing nothing to prevent it or show your support and loyalty.

Therefore, on behalf of your employees and Remploy trade union members, I am publicly asking you to come out and explain to them what is happening and why you have not protected them as you should but instead neglected them in the most difficult times.

GMB have also strongly criticised the silence of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in failing to offer help to the soon-to-be made redundant 1,700 plus Remploy workers. The Department for Work and Pensions claims that all disabled Remploy staff affected by the change will be guaranteed a package of tailored support, but employees point out that more than 80 per cent of those who took voluntary redundancy in previous cuts in 2008 and 2011 are still out of work.

A further blow was dealt by the government to Remploy workers this week when it informed the unions that any companies that did take over a Remploy business that was sold off would not need to honour the Fair Deal pensions legislation that ensures a pension of similar value has to be provided.

Where now?
Phil Davies recently commented that: “After the two days of strike action we are now asking the Remploy workers to discuss the next stage in the campaign. This could include demonstrations in London and other cities in September during the Para- Olympic games. We are not ruling out further industrial action.”

A protest in London is being organised tomorrow from 10am so that supporters can lobby the Department of Work and Pensions HQ on Tothill Street. For more details see the Labour Representation Committee  website, the Right to Work webpages and the Disabled People Against Cuts blog.

You should also continue to sign the petition against the closures at and show your solidarity with messages of support in the comments box.

Below, the messages delivered to the picketlines at Trentham lakes Remploy show that though the government may not care, the people of Britain do.

Messages of support for Remploy workers




One response

7 08 2012

Reblogged this on northstaffsagainstcuts and commented:

New blog post from the North Staffs TUC

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