Formal consultation on the closure of 43 Remploy factories will begin at a meeting in Leicester on Wednesday 20 June.
Remploy unions will use the 90 day consultation period to examine the basis on which the Board selected the 43 factories.
The unions will also use the consultation period to establish what needs to be done to provide all the workplaces with a steady stream of work in order to keep them open. The unions will also look at the management and equipment needed for a Remploy for the 21st Century. At the meeting in Leicester will be representatives from all parts of Britain.
The closures were announced on 22 May. As part of the campaign, the unions will move towards the strike ballot at all 83 locations. When the formal consultation has been completed the management will make recommendations to Ministers as to which factories should be closed.
Phil Davies, GMB National Officer and Secretary, of the Remploy Trade Union Consortium said, “The Trade Unions will use the 90 day consultation period to demonstrate that the civil service and the board have cynically used the drive to get more disabled people into work in parts of the economy as a “Trojan horse” to undermine the viability of the Remploy supported factories.
'We will separate out these two very different things. We will look at what needs to be done to maintain a steady stream of public procurement work to secure a future for all 83 factories. We will be contacting the Private sector companies who place contracts with Remploy to ask for their continuing support.”
Jenny, Formby, Unite T& G section, Chair of the Remploy Trade Union Consortium said, “The trade unions will use the consultation period to go through with a fine tooth comb the precise reasons why factories were selected for closure. There seems no rhyme or reason to it. Neither is there in place a concrete plan for a viable Remploy for the 21st Century.
'As well as separating the issue of the employment of disabled people in the wider economy from the issue of supported workshops with a steady stream of public procurement work as allowed for by the European Union the trade unions will detail what needs to be done to equip Remploy with the management and machinery to do the job properly.”