Last Thursday Remploy workers from across Scotland and the North of England took to the streets of Edinburgh to demand a halt to Government plans to close their factories. Remploy is the UK’s oldest and largest employer of disabled people and the closures will mean job losses for 1,752 staff, of which 1,518 have a disability.
The protest took place outside a conference where Liz Sayce, author of the report recommending the factory closures, was speaking. Demonstrators from Edinburgh’s Remploy factory which employs 28 staff were joined by colleagues from as far afield as Ashington in Northumberland as well as local anti-cuts groups. Ironically the conference at which Sayce was speaking was entitled “Creating a Bright Future for Supported Employment in Scotland” but Remploy shop steward Phil Branann made it clear what her plans mean for disabled workers:
“We think it is an insult to disabled people and society in general for her to attend that meeting.
“Employers won’t employ disabled people – they are three times more likely to be unemployed.
“If it’s so easy to find employment, why not wait until the workers have found jobs before closing the factories?”
To sign a petition urging the Government to reverse their decision to make 1,500 disabled people unemployed click here