Disabled workers facing the sack joined a central London protest as the latest unemployment figures were announced this morning (Wednesday).
The Remploy factory workers joined campaigners from Right to Work, Disabled People Against Cuts, the PCS union and others outside the Department for Work and Pensions.
Julie Haynes, a Unite union shop steward at Remploy’s factory in Barking, east London, spoke to Socialist Worker.
“They’re going to shut 36 factories,” she said. “That means 2,000 disabled people will be put on the dole. We won’t get new jobs.”
She said workers are “happy where we are” at state-owned Remploy. “We’re accepted there,” she added.
“There are people who work with us who have been in outside employment and had abuse. They feel safe at Remploy.
“We’re going to fight this—we’re not going to stop. That’s one thing for sure.”
The protest took place as it was revealed that unemployment in Britain has risen to 2.67 million.
Youth unemployment went up to 1.042 million—the highest since record began.
Peter Morris, a Remploy worker in Acton, west London, said it was “disgusting” for the government to close the factories.
“We make breathing apparatus and that sort of thing—medical equipment,” he said. “Things hospitals need.
“People just don’t know what they’re going to do if they lose their jobs. A lot of us haven’t got a future outside Remploy.
“They should put the Tories on the dole and see how they survive.”
Right to Work will join UK Uncut's protest on budget day next week. See http://righttowork.org.uk/2012/03/budget-day-protest-2/