Disabled jobs at risk in North West

The Government was accused of being "callous" after announcing that hundreds more disabled workers at Remploy factories are at risk of losing their jobs. The fresh closure plans include Heywood, Blackburn and Burnley.

In the North West a total of 81 jobs are at risk across several sites:

Heywood - 34 disabled, 3 non-disabled jobs.Burnley - 24 disabled, 1 non-disabled jobs.Blackburn - 19 disabled, 1 non-disabled jobs.

Nationally a further 875 employees, including 682 disabled people, have been told they face compulsory redundancy, some hearing the grim news by email.

Unions attacked the decision as "cruel", warning of the difficulty disabled workers will face when they look for other jobs.

Thirty-four factories have already ceased operations including seven in the region.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We have also been clear from the start that we have protected the £320 million budget for disability employment services."

"But we are following the advice of disability expert Liz Sayce, to use the money more effectively to get more disabled people into mainstream jobs - the same as everyone else."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Many of the disabled workers who will lose their job as a result of these factory closures have little or no chance of finding alternative employment. Of the first 1,000 employees to be made redundant during recent factory closures, just 35 have subsequently found work."