Disabled workers at risk as axe hangs over factory

A NUMBER of disabled workers across Northumberland face losing their jobs as a factory has been earmarked for closure.

The Remploy board has started a consultation on a proposal to shut down 36 of its facilities which it believes are not commercially viable following a cut in Government funding.

One of the factories, which employ mainly disabled people, is in Ashington. Across the country, there is a potential compulsory redundancy of 1,752 employees directly or indirectly involved with the businesses set to shut down.

The Government has said that the money saved will be used instead to support more disabled people into mainstream employment, but one top union official has strongly criticised the decision.

Unite has 1,000 members working at Remploy and its General Secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “This is a barbaric decision. The Government has sunk to a new low by sacking over 1,000 disabled workers.

“In the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, these workers’ prospects of finding work are almost zero. Unite is determined to fight this decision.”

The company’s enterprise businesses produce a wide range of products, from protective clothing for emergency services and military personnel to components for car manufacturers.