The last three of Remploy's factories will close today ending almost 60 years of specialist employment for disabled workers.
As the last handful of Remploy factories close their doors for the last time, many workers feel they are losing a lot more than a job.
While a leading disability charity backs the shutdown, strike action against Government closures of 27 factories reveals a complex issue.
Workers at the Remploy in Wales say the end of state-run sheltered factory employment for disabled people is a "disgrace".
However, Sian Morgan, Remploy Director for Wales, says disabled workers prefer to work alongside able-bodied colleagues.
Three of the last remaining Remploy factories will close.
The company said no viable bids had been made for its furniture business, so it will close sites in Blackburn, Neath and Sheffield.
All 196 employees, including the 160 disabled workers, are at risk of compulsory redundancy, although they will be invited to consultation meetings over the next 30 days.
However Remploy did say that a potentially viable bid had been made for its automotive factories in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby.
Detailed negotiations will now be held to complete a transaction as soon as possible.
Three of the last remaining Remploy factories are to close, threatening 160 disabled workers with redundancy, the company has announced.
Around 234 disabled workers are at risk of redundancy under plans to close a further nine Remploy factories, the Government announced today.
The closures affect factories in Dundee, Stirling, Clydebank, Leven, Cowdenbeath, Norwich, Portsmouth, Burnley and Sunderland.
From December 2012: 875 Remploy jobs under threat
– Department for Work and Pensions
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.
All disabled employees affected by the changes will be guaranteed tailored support from an £8 million package, including a personal case worker, to help with the transition into mainstream employment.
The Department of Work and Pensions says it is trying to safeguard as many jobs as possible:
- At risk of redundancy are 875 employees across 15 Remploy factory sites and 34 CCTV sites
- The factorybusinesses lost around £50m last year
- Remploy Employment Services found 50,000 jobs for disabledand disadvantaged people since 2010 many with similar disabilities to those in Remploy factories
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
A further 875 employees are at risk of losing their jobs at Remploy factories. The figure announced by the Government includes 682 disabled workers.