Remploy unions issue rival plan with no factory closures

Unions representing disabled staff at Remploy today issued a modernisation plan which, unlike the government-funded company’s own proposal, includes no factory closures.

The plan, produced by GMB and Unite, comes three days after Remploy published its own revised proposals for the future of its 83 factories, which employ around 5,000 disabled people. The company’s proposal would see 28 factories shut, down from its original target of 43, so long as the 55 remaining factories increased sales.

However, the unions claim that the company’s spending can be brought within the limits of the government’s £111m annualy subsidy, through a range of measures that will keep all factories open. These include

  • Capping spending on Remploy’s employment service, which helps people into mainstream employment, at £31, not £34m, a year.
  • Reducing running and overhead costs by £17m a year by closing two offices, cutting the number of payroll systems from 17 to one, slashing middle management numbers and streamlining marketing spending.
  • Increasing public procurement income by £50m.

The unions are planning to meet work and pensions secretary Peter Hain tomorrow to discuss their proposals.

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