Remploy Parliamentary Debate

10 Dec 2011

MPs will raise the failure of 201 councils in the UK to give work to Remploy during the 3 hour debate on Remploy that will take place in Parliament on Thursday 15th December commencing at 2.30 p.m. in Westminster Hall.

The debate will focus on Government plans to end public finding for Remploy factories in April 2013 and on the privatisation of employment services provided by Remploy. All 54 Remploy factories are under threat of closure when current public funding is stopped by Government in April 2013. If these proposals go ahead 4,000 workers will lose their jobs.

The alphabetical list of Remploy factories facing closure is as follows: Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Burnley, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Clydebank, Coventry, Cowdenbeath, Croespenmaen, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Heywood, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Leven, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Neath Port Talbot, Newcastle, North London, North Staffordshire, Norwich, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Porth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Stirling, Sunderland, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham.

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary said: “MPs from across the UK will draw attention to the councils that are failing to support Remploy.  The factories are rendered less economic being only 50% loaded because either public bodies have failed to support them with work as allowed under EU rules or their own managers are turning down work. Parliament will be told that it would cost Treasury less to keep the factories operating fully loaded rather than putting the workers out of work on welfare. The majority of Remploy workers who lost their jobs in 2008 are still on welfare 3 years later.

The crucial campaign objective for Remploy workers is to get the loading up from 50% now to 100% and to keep these factories open. These factories have a successful track record going back to 1946 till the public authorities stopped loading them with work in 1990s due to then EU directive. The EU rules have been changed and the factories can be successful again when they are fully loaded. Making uniforms for the armed forces, emergency services and medical staff, and supplying schools would more than keep them busy. Remploy workers want help to get their factories fully loaded. GMB published the list of all public bodies that are not now supporting Remploy with work. Members of the public can help if they are involved with any of these bodies or can lobby MPs, councillors and others to get them to place work with Remploy.”