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4 May 2012

The planned protest and lobby of Parliament on 9 May "are a measure of the massive public support for continued funding of the Remploy factories," says the co-organiser, public services union, the GMB.

Statement about the protest

This is the latest event in a long line of events against the closure of Remploy factories that employ disabled workers. These and other events are organised by Remploy unions GMB and Unite. The lobby is sponsored by Ian Lavery MP.

Remploy workers and their many supporters are angry at the coalition government’s decision to shut 36 of the 54 Remploy sites this summer with compulsory redundancies for 1,752 people, of these 1,518 are disabled.

It is envisaged that the remaining 18 sites will close soon after. This decision on closure was made on 7 March 2012.

Details for the protest, march and lobby on 9 May are as follows:

  • Protest from 10:30 am:  DWP Offices, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street,London SW1H 9NA
  • March assembles from 11:00 am:  Old Palace Yard, Westminster (move off no later than 1.15pm).
  • Lobby of Parliament, 2.30 - 4pm, Committee Room 14, House of Commons.

 NB: Only 130-140 people will be allowed in Committee Room 14. Preference will be given to those travelling into London.

Planned closures

The Remploy factories scheduled to close in the first wave are: 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.

Phil Davies, GMB national secretary, said:

“This Lobby of Parliament and the demonstrations around the country are a measure of the massive public support for continued funding of the Remploy factories. 

"It is now clear that this government will use the money that was earmarked to support the direct employment of disabled people to privatise its Employment Services business.  It is outrageous that the government can take away the jobs of disabled workers the length and breadth of the country to carry out an ideologically motivated privatisation.”