Remploy Workers To Be Balloted

6 Oct 2011

Trade union members working at 54 Remploy factories across the UK will be ballots over a below inflation pay offer of £250 equivalent to £4.80 a week. The ballot result will be known on 17th October. If the offer is rejected by members a formal industrial action ballot will then take place with a view to action taking place on the 30th November to coincide with any action taken you public service workers in defence of their pensions.

The Joint Trade Union Negotiators have rejected a paltry offer of £4.80 per week. This is the third year that the workers in Remploy have been offered a derisory increase of between £1.80 and £4.80 per week.  An award of £1.9 million to pay top Remploy managers bonuses averaging £5,230 has added to the dissatisfaction of the Joint Trade Union Negotiators.

Members at the following Remploy factories will be balloted: 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 responsible for Remploy members said,

“It is unbelievable that at a time when the government is planning to close Remploy down and to put disabled workers on to benefits for the rest of their lives that it rewards the able bodied bosses for their failure to provide sufficient work for the factory that is leading to the closure threat.

This is another insult to the disabled workers at Remploy who go to work every day despite considerable disabilities and who produce the wealth of the company.

It also comes at a time when the government is considering the closure of Remploy.  The joint trade union negotiators have recommended rejection of the £250 offer and will know the result of the internal ballot by the 17th October.  We are determined to secure the future of disabled workers within Remploy and after the 17th October if our members reject the derisory pay offer we will move to an industrial action ballot within Remploy.  The ballot arrangements will be planned to coincide with the public sector ballots for industrial action on the 30th November.”

Kevin Hepworth, Unite Regional Officer responsible for Remploy members said, “It is an absolute disgrace that the company is asking disabled people who earn less than £21,000 per year to accept a £250 per year increase whilst 380 senior managers have such a lucrative contract with the company and will be receiving bonuses of up to £10,000.  These managers already earn in excess of £60,000 per year and should give their bonus earnings back to the company for reinvestment in the employment of disabled people.”