Disabled workers for Remploy on Merseyside are being balloted for industrial action over the closure of their factories with the results expected at the end of next week.
They are furious at work and pensions secretary Peter Hain, who at first appeared to put a block on the closures during last year’s Labour Party conference when he said there would be no closures without ministerial approval.
But late last year it was announced that 28 plants employing more than 1,600 workers would close.
The scheme would see the closure of both the Aintree and St Helens sites, while the Central Cutting Unit in Wallasey would be shut and merged with the Birkenhead factory.
Paul Bragg, GMB union senior steward, said “Remploy have never had a strike in their 60-year history, but these decisions are hitting people with disabilities and some of the most vulnerable in society.
“Peter Hain has said he wants to get people off incapacity benefits and into the workplace – so why has he done this to people who have got off benefits and contributed to our economy?
“Most of these people could quite genuinely have stayed at home and on benefits.”
The unions have balloted for strike action in the past, but always unsuccessfully.