Remploy staff hold 24hr strike

Disabled workers at 54 Remploy factories across Britain are holding the first of two 24-hour strikes. They are protesting against the announced closure of 27 factories under Government plans.

Latest ITV News reports

Government: Strike 'will do nothing to secure future jobs of Remploy staff'

We're disappointed that the unions are taking strike action which will do nothing to secure the future jobs of Remploy staff.

The Government would encourage the trade unions to fully engage with Remploy during the consultation process to provide the best possible support and success for disabled staff who may leave the company.

– A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman

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Remploy protesters set up picket lines across the country

Disabled workers across Britain are holding the first of two 24-hour strikes in protest at the Government's decision to shut down or sell off half of Remploy's 54 factories:

Remploy workers striking in Stoke-on-Trent
Remploy workers striking in Stoke-on-Trent. Credit: ITV Central

For more on ITV Central's coverage of the strike action, including an interview with a worker at the firm's Derby plant and footage of chanting on the picket line in Stoke-on-Trent, click here.

Remploy workers striking in Stoke-on-Trent
Remploy workers striking in Stoke-on-Trent. Credit: ITV Central

Similar protests have attracted politicians and the press alike in Bridgend. ITV News Wales has the full story.

Remploy protests in Bridgend.
Madeleine Moon MP talks to striking workers at the Remploy site in Bridgend. Credit: Esyllt Carr / ITV News Wales

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'Factory closures will push disabled people into poverty'

Disabled people in Remploy have not taken lightly the decision to withdraw their labour. These are workers who do not have large amounts of savings. So for them to sacrifice a day's pay shows the passion with which they are trying to save their jobs ... [The Government's] decision to force the closure of Remploy means that thousands of disabled people and their families will be put into poverty and their health is bound to suffer.

– Phil Davies, GMB national officer

Unite urges Government to follow Welsh example

The union Unite is calling on ministers to follow the example of the Welsh Government which has pledged £2.4 million a year for up to four years for employers who give jobs to Remploy workers when the factories in Wales close:

We are expecting the vast majority of the workforce across the 54 factories to strike. They are rightly angry that they face a bleak future on the dole, as it is always more difficult for those with disabilities to obtain employment.

– Sally Kosky, unite national officer

Remploy workers to stage first of two strikes

A Save Remploy placard at a demonstration in Sheffield Credit: Dave Higgens/PA Wire

Disabled workers will stage the first of two 24-hour strikes today in protest at "hard-hearted" plans to close their factories.

Thousands of staff at 54 Remploy factories across Britain will walk out as part of a union campaign to keep them open.

Half the factories face closure by the end of the year, while others face an uncertain future or closure next year under Government plans.

Ministers have argued that the factories are loss-making, and money would be better spent helping individuals find jobs elsewhere.

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