Government-funded company Remploy has vowed not to let a string of strikes halt its plans to close 28 of its 83 factories, which employ 5,000 disabled staff.
Two-day walkouts are due to take place tomorrow and on Thursday at factories in Birkenhead and Aintree, Merseyside, and in York, following a two-day strike at Birkenhead and Aintree last week. Strikes are also due to take place at the Merseyside plants on 21 and 22 February, with ballots planned for the other 25 factories earmarked for closure.
The closures are part of a government plan to quadruple the number of people found work through Remploy’s employment service, which helps disabled people into mainstream jobs.
Remploy chief executive Bob Warner reiterated the commitment to ensure no disabled employee would be made compulsorily redundant and those who found new jobs would retain their Remploy terms and conditions, including its final salary pension scheme.
However, GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said disabled staff at Remploy were “victims of long-running poor management”, and had been forced to strike to defend their jobs.