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Welsh Remploy workers strike for second time

Remploy strike placards
Welsh Remploy workers are striking for the second time against plans to close their factories Credit: ITV News Wales

Workers at Remploy factories across Wales are today striking for the second time today in protest of plans to close factories.

They also took industrial action last Thursday in response to a decision taken by the Westminster Government to close or sell off 54 Remploy factories in the UK.

Factories at Aberdare, Abertillery, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea and Wrexham will close between August and mid-December with the loss of almost 200 jobs.

Remploy workers' picket line in Merthyr
Remploy workers are on strike in Merthyr Credit: ITV News Wales

While the future of the factories in both Neath Port Talbot and Porth in the Rhondda is uncertain, the factories in Bridgend and Croespenmaen will remain open for the time being.

Previous strikes have also taken place as workers make their feelings known.

Merthyr Tydfil trades union flag
Merthyr Remploy workers are picketing for the second time against the closure of their factory. Credit: ITV News Wales

Following a review the UK Government decided to close many of the Remploy sites, claiming that they were not financially viable - but also insist that they are committed to supporting disabled workers.

The Welsh Government says it will pay firms taking on Remploy workers who lose their jobs when their factories shut. Education Minister Leighton Andrews said costs and wages would be covered for up to four years.

Remploy workers to take further industrial action on Thursday

Remploy workers are planning to hold a second day of industrial action this Thursday. Members of the Unite and GMB unions are pledging to continue to fight for their future.

There was solid support from workers and the public alike for the Remploy action last week and that looks set to continue as we enter a second day of strike action.

Our members have been treated with total contempt and disrespect by the UK Coalition Government who could learn a lesson or two from our own Welsh Government who have demonstrated ongoing support for Remploy in Wales.

This support is to be welcomed and we will continue to work with those who have the best interests of Remploy at heart, including any further potential bids as hopefully appears to be the case in Wrexham.

– Unite Wales Secretary, Andy Richards

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Remploy workers across Wales take strike action

Workers at Remploy factories in Wales have taken strike action in protest at UK Government plans to close factories and make hundreds of disabled workers redundant.

The plans would see five factories shut in Aberdare, Abertillery, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham.

The sites in Neath and Porth will remain open.

But there's uncertainty over the Croespenmaen and Bridgend factories, where bids have been invited.

Esyllt Carr has been speaking to the workers still fighting for their jobs.

Remploy bidder asked to re-submit proposal

A company whose bid for Wrexham's Remploy factory was rejected has been invited to re-submit their proposals.

Disability Employment Limited had their first proposal turned down, but they have since been encouraged to try again after Wrexham MP, Ian Lucas, spoke to Remploy's Chief Executive.

After discussions with workers, Remploy and with Disability Employment Limited, and taking into account the announcement made this week by the Welsh Government, Remploy have suggested that Disability Employment Limited submit a revised proposal.

– Ian Lucas, Wrexham MP

Remploy workers across the country are on strike today following a decision by the UK Government to close or sell-off the factories.

RNIB: 'Remploy closures are the wrong plan at the wrong time'

RNIB policy manager Andy Kaye is opposed to the Remploy closures.

"We contest this idea that people working in Remploy factories are somehow holding back other disabled people from getting a job" he says.

"The Government can prioritise Access to Work for those people closer to the labour market, but for those who want to see an option of being in supported employment, like Remploy, they should have that option."

Disability Rights UK: 'Remploy closures mean more disabled people can be helped'

Neil Coyle, Policy Director of Disability Rights UK, supports the closure of Remploy factories, saying that while the Government should give "tailored support" to the affected workers, the funding will help more people.

"We can either make a choice to keep running unviable, segregated employment for disabled people in failing factories, or we use the same amount of money to support many thousands more disabled people into mainstream work," he says.

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