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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Closure of west Cumbrian Remploy factory a ‘sickening blow’

The closure of Cleator Moor’s Remploy factory will be “a sickening blow” to its workers, says Copeland MP Jamie Reed.

Jamie Reed photo
Jamie Reed

An announcement was made yesterday to shut 27 Remploy sites across the country – including Cleator Moor – between August and mid-December.

Fifteen people will lose their jobs at the Leconfield Estate factory which makes overalls, nurses tunics and educational soft toys. Fourteen of the workforce are disabled.

Kevin Young, regional organiser for the GMB, said those responsible for the decision to close the site “should hang their heads in shame”.

Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, told MPs yesterday that the £320 million budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.

She also announced a further consultation on the future of nine other Remploy factories which have been the subject of bids.

Mr Reed said: “This is a sickening blow from the Government for the Remploy workers. “I hope to meet with unions and employment support agencies soon to see how we can support those people affected but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the Minister responsible for this has acted in a wilfully ignorant, detached, callous way.”

“Refusing to visit the site and meet with the workforce and sneaking out cowardly statements. Her conduct illustrates her character and she should resign without delay,” he added.

Two 24-hour strikes for workers across the country’s 54 Remploy factories had been organised in protest of the government’s proposals.

Staff at the Cleator Moor site will be taking part in the strikes.

Mr Young said: “They [the Government and Remploy] have not even considered any consultation with the trade unions. That’s why our members are still going to strike on July 19 and 26. As of Thursday this week there will be an overtime ban. This will continue indefinitely.”

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