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.

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Budget 'still protected' for specialist disability employment

In a statement the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We have been absolutely clear that the £320 million budget for specialist disability employment services has been protected. But by spending the money more effectively, we can support thousands more disabled people in work.

That is why we accepted the recommendation from disability expert Liz Sayce, to focus support on individuals through services like Access to Work, rather than institutions like Remploy, so more disabled people can work in mainstream employment rather than segregated factories."

The Government has confirmed the closure of 27 factories Credit: ITV News

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Remploy closures show a 'callous disregard'

Today's announcement has come totally out of the blue with the Government and Iain Duncan Smith showing a callous disregard for vulnerable disabled workers.

He's lived up to his own description of being the 'quiet man', by getting a junior minister to try and bury bad news ahead of the Lords reform debate.

Our members are desperate to work in an environment that takes account of their disability, where they can make a valued contribution to society and pay their way.

They do not want to be thrown on the scrapheap and relying on handouts.

– Sally Kosky, Unite National Officer

Remploy changes 'end pre-war practice of segregated employment'

Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people, told MPs that the £320 million budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively:

This is difficult news. We are doing everything we can to ensure that Remploy workers will receive a comprehensive package of support and guidance to make the transition from Government-funded sheltered employment to mainstream jobs... Our approach has been led by disabled people's organisations and disabled people themselves, many of whom have welcomed the move to end the pre-war practice of segregated employment.

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