|Unions Campaign Against Remploy Factory Closure|
Workers -including many with disabilities - face job lossess
Trade unionists are stepping up their campaign against the closure of the Remploy factory.
The site in Portal Way, North Acton, employs 36 people, 30 of whom have disabilities.
The Remploy scheme has 54 factories across the UK and was originally set up in the 1940s to offer supported employment for disabled people but now the Government is considering plans to cut it's funding which would lead to all the factories closing.
On Saturday, campaigners handed out leaflets in Acton’s Market Place, encouraging shoppers to sign a petition against the closure.
Eve Turner, secretary for West London TUC said: “The risk is that these local workers will be thrown on to the scrap heap. It would be another blow to disabled people, whose benefits are being cut even if they are too ill to work.
“Remploy provided an opportunity for many that will not be replaced. Previously redundant Remploy workers are still out of work, years later. The Acton workers would simply join young people and others queuing up for work that isn’t there.”
“The fact is that the gap between the haves and the have-nots is ever growing. Last year top bosses received an average 32 per cent increase in earnings, while millions of others are struggling to get by.”
She also referred to a visit last year to the factory by Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central and Acton.
“Before the last election Angie Bray visited the factory and said ‘What they are doing is really impressive and they are making a real contribution with the successful business they run there.’ We hope the Remploy workers can count on her support now that her Government is considering closing the factory.”
Ms Bray said: “I was certainly struck by the positive attitude I encountered when I visited the Remploy factory in Acton last year.
“The most important thing for the future is ensuring that those disabled people who want to work are able to do so, and that they receive as much support from the Government to achieve this if they require it.
“Once the consultation closes in October, the Government is looking to invest in the best possible system for disabled people who want to work. The aim being to encourage an extra 35,000 people into employment.”