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Unite: Disabled Remploy workers demonstrate in London and Sheffield in fight to save their jobs

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Disabled Remploy workers demonstrate in London and Sheffield in fight to save their jobs

London
WHEN: 12pm, Friday, 20 April 2012
WHERE: Outside the Department of Work and Pensions, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA. March to Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JY for rally with speakers.

Sheffield
WHEN: 12.30pm, Friday, 20 April 2012
WHERE: Outside the Department of Work and Pensions, Steel City House at the junction of West Street, Church Street and Tripit Lane. March to the Town Hall for rally and speeches.


Hundreds of disabled workers will demonstrate tomorrow (Friday, 20 April) against cuts outside the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) offices in London and Sheffield, and also outside Parliament.

The Remploy workers are angry at the coalition governments’ decision to shut 36 of the 54 Remploy sites this summer with compulsory redundancies for 1,752 people, of these 1,518 are disabled, with the remaining 18 sites envisaged to close soon after.

This decision was made on 7 March 2012, just days after the government announced the Welfare Bill aimed at helping people into work.

Gail Cartmail, Unite assistant general secretary, said: “Our members feel outrage that the government could take jobs from disabled people in this current climate. How are they expected to find work when there are 2.65 million people in the queue in front of them?

“The government say that disabled people should be in mainstream employment, but the jobs just aren’t there for them. And very often when disabled workers are in mainstream employment they suffer excessive levels of bullying and harassment. This decision to sack disabled workers demonstrates how intent this government is on hitting the most vulnerable in society hardest.”

Phil Davies, GMB national officer for Remploy staff, said: “We must show the strength of feeling that taking jobs from disabled people should not be tolerated in a civilised society. It will not improve the country’s financial situation – it may well make it worse. Join us in the fight to save Remploy at these demonstrations.”

Unite and GMB members will be assembling at midday outside the department of work and pensions offices on Tothill Street, SW1 at midday tomorrow (Friday, 20 April). There will be a short march to Parliament, where there will be a rally with speeches in Old Palace Yard. Speakers include Gail Cartmail, Unite Assistant General Secretary, Phil Davies, GMB national officer for Remploy staff, Les Woodward, GMB National Convenor of Remploy, Peter Purton, Disability Officer for the TUC, Jerry Nelson, GMB National Official and Remploy workers.

For the Sheffield demonstration members will assemble 12.30pm for a 1pm start outside the Department of Work and Pensions office in Sheffield (Steel City House) at the junction of West Street, Church Street and Tripit Lane with a rally and march to the Town Hall.

Ends

For more information on the London rally please contact: Ashraf Choudhury, Unite press office on 07980 224761.

For more information on the Sheffield rally please contact: Kevin Hepworth, Unite Regional Official on 07976 265630.

Notes to editors:
The Remploy factories to close in the first wave are as follows: Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Croespenmaen, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Newcastle, North London, North Staffs, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Preston, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham.

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