POLITICS
12/12/2011 00:40 GMT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Remploy Factories Supporting Disabled Workers At Risk Of Closing, Say Unions

More than 200 local authorities will this week be accused of failing to support factories which employ disabled workers as a leading union steps up its campaign to save them from closure.

The GMB union will raise the future of Remploy factories during a debate in the Commons on Thursday when MPs will be told it would cost the Treasury less to keep the sites open than make the workers redundant.

The union has warned that all 54 Remploy factories are under threat of closure, with the possible loss of 4,000 jobs.

Phil Davies, GMB national officer, 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 with work because either public bodies have failed to support them as allowed under EU rules or their own managers are turning down work.

"The crucial campaign objective for Remploy workers is to get the loading up from 50% now to 100% and to keep these factories open. They have a successful track record going back to 1946.

"Making uniforms for the armed forces, emergency services and medical staff, and supplying schools would more than keep them busy."

The union will tell MPs that most Remploy workers who lost their jobs in 2008 are still on welfare.