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Remploy Leeds Demo

Sacked Remploy workers to demonstrate tomorrow 30th November outside Leeds Remploy factory on its last day.

The Government is throwing disabled workers in Leeds out of work and on to the scrapheap says GMB.

Sacked Remploy workers will demonstrate outside the Leeds Remploy factory which is closing tomorrow Friday 30th November 2012. Leeds is one of 35 Remploy factories due to close by the end of the year with the compulsory redundancy of 1,752 people of whom 1,518 are disabled.

The details of the demonstration are as follows:

FROM 11.00 AM

FRIDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 2012

OUTSIDE REMPLOY LEEDS

MANOR MILL LANE

MILLSHAW

LEEDS

LS11 8DF

THEN MARCH TO THE CEMETERY 11.30 AM RALLY AT THE CEMETERY

During August 24 Remploy sites were closed as follows: Aberdare, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Birkenhead, Bolton, Cleator Moor, Gateshead, Lanarkshire, London (Haringay), Manchester, Merthyr Tydfill, Newcastle, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham. The workers are now on the dole.

Leeds is one of the factories alongside Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent factories are due to close later in the year. A further 9 others, including Chesterfield and Springburn, are due to be sold off. The future of the 18 other factories, employing 872 workers, is yet to be determined.

Phil Davies GMB National Officer said “The Government is throwing disabled workers in Leeds and thirty-four other places out of work and on to the scrapheap. We are asking trade unionists in Leeds to join us on the day the Leeds factory closes.

Sheltered workshops are allowed under EU procurement rules and can successfully  keep disabled workers gainfully employed if supported by public contracts. Instead this government used RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories.

Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution with attempts to stigmatise it as a form of ghettoisation and linking it to old institutional forms. You could use the same argument against staging the Paralympic games.

These organizations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required.

This is what happens when you make “the best” the enemy of the “good”. You start with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and you end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to enable redundancy notices for more than 2,700 disabled workers in 54 locations across the UK. The Tories knew what they were doing using these "useful idiots".

End

Contact: James Stribley, GMB Convenor at Leeds Remploy factory on 07525 136396 or Phil Davies Consortium Secretary on 07850 966465phil.davies@gmb.org.uk

Kevin Hepworth Consortium Chair on 07976 265630kevin.hepworth@unitetheunion.org

Les Woodward National Convenor on 07977 436251 les.woodward@ntlworld.com

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