Socialist Worker

Workers hit back at Remploy by occupying corporate head office

Issue No. 2317

Sacked workers at Remploy protested today, Thursday, by occupying the company’s head office in Leicester for four hours.

The action coincides with the announcement of five-day strikes at Remploy’s Chesterfield and Springburn factories in protest at plans to sell them off, starting on Monday 3 September.

“Today ex-Remploy employees who were casually sacked last week are occupying Remploy’s head office,” said GMB national secretary Phil Davies.

The occupying workers were “demanding to see a director to try to get answers to questions that have so far remained unanswered”, he added.

The occupation ended a few hours later, according to the Union News website, once workers had secured a promise from disabilities minister Maria Miller of talks with the government over plans to wind down Remploy.

Some 27 of Remploy’s 54 factories are set to close by the end of the year, and some have already shut down. This will throw the company’s mainly disabled workforce out of work.

UPDATE: Phil Brennan, GMB Remploy convenor for Scotland, was part of the occupation at Remploy’s head office today. He spoke to Socialist Worker.

“While occupying head offices we managed to get Nigel Hopkins, Remploy’s executive director of finance, on the phone.

“He told us that TUPE transfer will not apply for workers at the Chesterfield and Springburn factories because they’re being sold off not transferred.

“We want assurances that terms and conditions will be protected if the factories are privatised, as is planned. But we want to preserve all the factories. That is still the aim of the campaign.”

» Remploy factory workers are still up for a fight

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Thu 23 Aug 2012, 16:33 BST
Issue No. 2317
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