AN INDEPENDENT report into Remploy, the government aided firm that employs disabled people, has slammed the company's planned factory closures. The leaked report by the consultants, Bourton Group, argued that up to 1,500 jobs could be created at the factories. Yet the company's "merger" plan, which means closing factories, could axe over 900 jobs.
It is backed by Margaret Hodge, New Labour's minister for disabled people. The report also says that up to �5 million of savings could be made by reorganising the management structure. Rob, a disabled worker at Remploy's threatened Barnsley factory, said, "It is very stressful and upsetting for Remploy workers. I used to be a miner but I got made redundant. I was born with polio but over the last eight to ten years my health has got worse. Nobody wants to employ disabled people. I got three replies to job applications in over two and half years. The government talks about getting disabled people out of Remploy factories and into mainstream employment. But if we could do that we wouldn't be here!"
- Remploy union stewards' national one day conference to discuss the factory closures. Thursday 20 January, 12.45pm, GMB National College, Manchester.