Remploy workers joined the march against the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham last Sunday (see page 4). They were protesting against plans to close 54 Remploy factories.
Linda Burnip, from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC), told Socialist Worker, “We don’t feel that firms should make money out of assessing people’s benefits. Without a general strike, I don’t think we’ll change anything.
“Remploy is a closure based purely on one report. But I think there’s a conflict of interest.
“The more they produce reports that the government likes, the more they’ll commission reports.”
A final decision is expected next month following a period of “consultation” on the Sayce review, which recommended shutting all the Remploy factories.
Valerie Worthing, a Remploy worker, told Socialist Worker, “Nick and Dave seem to think we can walk into any job we want. We can’t.
“Remploy is a very important company. It was founded after disabled soldiers came back after the First World War. Now there’s a new generation of disabled soldiers coming back—what will happen to them?”
Stephen Cook, a Remploy worker in Leeds, told Socialist Worker, “I’m here to save Remploy. I’m going to keep marching until the government gets fed up.
“I’ve worked for Remploy for 26 years. It means a lot to me. People say we work in ghettos—we don’t. We work in factories and do a good job.”
There is a campaign of protests around the country against the proposed closures.