Disabled Workers’ Changes Protest

Hundreds of disabled workers staged a protest as part of a campaign to prevent the closure of their factories. Around 300 people marched through Cardiff to highlight a review of Remploy factories, the biggest employer of disabled workers in Britain.

Unions said workers were worried about being forced out of a supported environment. The company, which has 12 factories in Wales, said it would help find jobs for its workers in mainstream employment.

Andy Richards, regional officer of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), said: “Our members fear being forced out of a supported environment and on to the dole queue. Serious questions have to be asked about the management of this company and the failure of government to ensure that Remploy has a bright future.”

A company spokeswoman said the government has asked them to prepare a modernisation plan. It wanted Remploy to significantly increase the number of disabled people they employed while staying within the funding of £555m over 5 years.

“The core issue is that each job in our factories costs an average of £19,000 a year. For the same money, we can find four jobs for disabled people in mainstream employment,” the spokeswoman added.

Remploy employs 5,000 disabled workers at 83 sites across the UK.