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Remploy job losses’ consultation ‘shrouded in secrecy’, says Unite

The six consultative road shows into the Sayce report that threatens to put 2,800 disabled Remploy employees onto the dole is ‘shrouded in secrecy’, Unite, the largest union in the country, has warned. 

Unite and the GMB will be holding protests outside the meetings, organised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), as the number of Remploy staff allowed to put their views as been limited to between four-and-six from each factory.  

The first meetings are being held at the Mint Hotels in Leeds on Monday, 12 September and Manchester on Tuesday, 13 September between 10:00-12:30

Unite regional officer, Kevin Hepworth said: ‘Our members were under the distinct impression that as many staff that wanted to attend these road shows  could do so - now it has been reduced to a mere handful from each of  Remploy’s 54 factories.’ 

‘Their future employment hangs by a thread because of the implications in the Sayce report which Unite believes heralds the closure of the factories  - at least, anyone who wished to should have been allowed to attend.’ 

‘The process seems to be shrouded in secrecy – we don’t know who else is attending - and that does not engender confidence.’ 

The Sayce report is out for consultation which ends next month. Unite wants ministers to reject the report, introduce new management and continue with the current system of providing supported employment for the disabled community. 

Kevin Hepworth said ‘If the government pushes through the report‘s recommendations, 2,800 disabled workers will be out of work. And in the worse economic crisis since the 1930s, their prospects of finding work are almost zero.’ 

Unite’s concern with the Sayce report centres on its emphasis of supporting the individual, rather than institutions employing the disabled to gain and retain employment. The need for ‘supported employment’ is as necessary today as it was when Remploy was set up in 1945. 

Remploy, which employs 4,000 people, including 2,800 with disabilities, has been subject to a voluntary redundancy programme which meant 700 people leaving the organisation. 

-ends- 

Note to news editors: 

For further information, please contact Kevin Hepworth on 07976 265 630 and/or Unite communications officer, Ashraf Choudhury on 07980 224 671 

The DWP meetings are all being held in September – the dates and venues are below: 
12th Leeds 
13th Manchester 
14th Glasgow 
19th Coventry 
20th Cardiff 
21st Reading 

 

 

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