Workers and union members held a protest today as the last Remploy factory in our region closed its doors for the final time.
They laid wreath at Remploy's Sheffield site in protest at the loss of 75 jobs. Its factories in Leeds, Huddersfield, Pontefract and Worksop - which supported disabled workers - have also recently closed down. David Hirst reports.
The Remploy factory in Sheffield is set to close alongside the last two remaining ones.
It will mean that 196 jobs in total are put at risk of redundancy, including 160 workers with disabilities. Remploy says no viable bids have been made for its furniture business so the site in South Yorkshire will close, as well as those in Neath and Blackburn.
Consultation meetings will be held over the next 30 days.
Today's announcement of 875 compulsory redundancies comes after an announcement earlier this year that a number of Remploy factories would close:
- 34 factories have ceased operations since then and are in the process of closing
- The future of a further 18 sites remained unclear
- Some of the factories have the potential to move out of Government-funded support, but others are set to close
Sacked Remploy workers in Leeds held a demonstration on their last day at work today.
The factory is one of 35 Remploy sites due to close by the end of the year with more than 1,500 disabled people losing their jobs.
After a rally outside the gates, the workers and supporters held a mock funeral as they walked to the local cemetery. The GMB Union says only 3% of workers from Remploy factories have found other jobs.
Workers are protesting outside a Remploy factory in Leeds, which closes today. The site is one of 35 across the country being closed this year.
The future of staff at a North Derbyshire Remploy factory has been raised in Parliament.
The factory in Chesterfield employs more than fifty workers with disabilities. But the GMB union claims not all of them will be offered jobs after the site was sold.
Remploy factories have been under threat after the Government announced a wave of closures, claiming that they faced a shortfall of around £70 million last year. Ministers are aiming to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs.
Speaking in a debate In Westminster Hall, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said recent events had been "incredibly stressful" for staff.
Sacked Remploy workers are demonstrating at the Tory Party Conference over the closure of factories, which meant compulsory redundance for 1,752 people.
During August sites at Pontefract and Worksop closed. The factory in Leeds is due to close later in the year. A further 9 others, including Chesterfield, are due to be sold off. The future of the 18 other factories, employing 872 workers, is yet to be determined.
We intend to bring home to Conservative activists the harsh reality of decisions made by this government to close Remploy factories and the cynical way Ministers used disabled charities to throw disabled workers out of work.
A union representing staff at a North Derbyshire Remploy factory fears they could lose their jobs by the end of the month after being told the site has now been sold. The factory in Chesterfield employs more than fifty workers with disabilities.
Not all of them, says the union, will be offered work by the new owners. It's been under threat after the Government announced wave of closures - claiming that Remploy factories faced a shortfall of around seventy 70 million pounds last year.
A West Yorkshire MP has declared that Labour will carry on fighting against the closure of Remploy factories across our region.
They employ workers with disabilities, but the Government confirmed in July that six sites were to close.
It said the factories faced a shortfall of around £70 million last year and employees would be better served in mainstream employment.
But Yvette Cooper, who represents Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, described the closures as "shocking" and claimed the Government had "turned their back".