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Wearside MPs criticise possible closure of Sunderland Remploy factory

30 disabled workers at a Remploy factory in Sunderland are facing the prospect of redundancy in 2013.

It follows on from the earlier closure of sites in Newcastle, Ashington and Spennymoor.

The minister for the disabled, Esther McVey, said a package of support measures were in place to help redundant workers find new work.

But two Wearside MPs, Julie Elliott and Sharon Hodgson, attacked the closures.

Full report: Job losses for Sunderland Remploy factory

They were promised extra support so they could find work alongside able bodied people.

But just one in 10 disabled workers have found new jobs after Remploy factories where they worked were shut down.

The sites were subsidised to provide work especially for people with disabilities.

But the government says they are unsustainable and represent outdated views on what disabled people can achieve.

Labour and the unions say their closure was a huge mistake.

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Job losses for Sunderland Remploy factory

A Remploy packaging factory in Sunderland is at risk of closure.

The government has announced 875 compulsory redundancies at Remploy factories across the country - including at the factory based in Sunderland.

Ministers announced earlier this year that a number of Remploy factories would close, arguing that the budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.

Workers at risk of redundancy are in 15 Remploy factories in total.

Remploy workers to stage second strike day

Fifty-four Remploy sites are due to close or be sold off Credit: ITV

Workers at Remploy are due to stage a second day of strike action in an attempt to save the jobs of more than 2,500 disabled people around the country.

Earlier this year the Government announced plans to close or sell off 54 factories across the UK, including sites at Ashington in Northumberland, Newcastle, and Spennymoor in County Durham.

Today, Remploy workers who are members of the Unite and GMB unions are holding a second 24-hour strike, after similar action was taken on July 19.

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Remploy workers strike

Remploy workers in the region are striking in protest over the closure of 27 factories including those in Ashington, Newcastle and Spennymoor.

Remploy sites Credit: ITV

The company provides work for people with disabilities.

Remploy campaigner Credit: ITV

A Remploy spokesman said they are concerned that industrial action could deter possible buyers and current contracts at other sites.

More than 150 job losses as Remploy factory closes

More than 150 workers at Remploy factories in the region face job losses after the government confirmed they will close.

The factories at Spennymoor, Gateshead, Newcastle and Ashington in the North East, and the Cleator Moor site in Cumbria will close by the end of the year.

The move has provoked anger from workers and some Labour MPs who've called it a cruel act. But ministers insist that many disability groups now accept that it is no longer appropriate to have segregated workplaces.

An £8 million support programme has been put in place to support those affected.

MP's anger over decision to close Remploy factories

The MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, has challenged the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, over the government's decision to close Remploy factories across the country.

Four factories will be closed in the North East.

Mr Lavery said the decision will mean that thousands of disabled people will now face a 'lifetime of unemployment'.

Unions angry at decision to close Remploy factories

The government has confirmed that four Remploy factories in the North East will close by the end of the year.

The announcement, made in the House of Commons, has been met with anger from worker's Unions who announced last week that they will be holding strike action against the decision.

GMB is very angry with the government’s confirmation today that it will close 27 Remploy factories in the first wave by December with the rest to follow shortly afterwards. To close these factories that employs disabled people in the present economic climate is a sentence to life of unemployment and poverty.

– Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary

It was announced in March that the factories in Ashington, Newcastle, Gateshead and Spennymoor will be affected by closures scheduled to begin in August.

A total of 2800 disabled workers jobs are set to go across the UK - over 150 of those will be in the North East.

Remploy workers will be taking strike action to defend their jobs as the axe is wielded by the government. By taking strike action they are trying to avoid their certain destiny of being chucked on the economic scrapheap. They deserve the support of all trade unionists and the public in Britain.

– Kevin Hepworth, Unite National Officer
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