Remploy workers have voted for strike action to to defend their jobs.
Members of GMB and Unite employed by Remploy in 54 factories across the country have voted by an overwhelming majority to take part in strikes and other industrial action to protest against the closure of the factories and disabled workers being forced in to unemployment.
GMB national secretary Phil Davies said: “The government’s intention to destroy thousands of disabled workers jobs in Remploy has given rise to an overwhelming vote for strike action against the proposed closures of their 54 factories. These closures are going ahead without any consideration of the feelings and needs of these workers and their families or their future job prospects. To close a factory that employs disabled people in the present economic climate is a sentence to life of unemployment and poverty.”
Unite national officer Kevin Hepworth said: “We now have the prospect of Remploy workers taking strike action to defend their jobs. By taking strike action they are trying to avoid their certain destiny of being chucked on the economic scrapheap. They deserve the support of all trade unionists and the public in Britain.”
The majority for strike action was 79.5% of the vote in the GMB. The majority for action short of a strike was 87.3% in GMB. The figures for Unite are 59.7% in favour of strike action and 76.1% in favour of action short of a strike.
The Remploy factories schedules to close in the first wave are as follows: Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Croespenmaen, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Newcastle, North London, North Staffs, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham.