Remploy Birkenhead and Aintree Overwhelming vote for industrial action in redundancy dispute

GMB Press Release

Strike ballots underway in a further 6 Remploy factories as disabled workers step up campaign for the existing factory network and for the required management changes

28 Jan 2008

Newly released official strike ballots by GMB and Unite at Remploy CCU in Birkenhead and Remploy Aintree show overwhelming support for industrial action in the ongoing dispute over redundancies at Remploy. These two ballot results are the first of further six official strike ballots in the pipeline. Results are expected in the next two weeks for the Remploy factories in York, Hartlepool, and St Helens, and Treforest, Ystradgynlais near Swansea and Brynammon in South Wales. Detailed consultations are underway regarding official strike ballots in the other factories set for closure. A blockade in currently underway at the York factory to stop the removal of machinery from the factory.

The Remploy strike ballots follow on from the announcement on 29th November 2007 by the former Secretary of State Peter Hain that he planed to go ahead with the Remploy management’s proposal to close 28 Remploy factories out of the total network of 83. The factories to be closed, with the loss of 2,000 supported jobs for disabled workers, are listed in List 1 below.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, responding to the ballot results said:

“Remploy disabled workers are victims of long running poor management and direction that failed to use the changes in the EU procurement laws to provide a steady workload to all factories. These votes shows that those unfairly selected for redundancy and facing unfair dismissal will fight for their jobs.

Remploy workers have been betrayed by the Labour Government who misled the workers, the Labour Party Conference and the public that there would be a change of policy regarding choice and public procurement to secure a future for the Remploy network. Yet a mere 8 weeks later the closure of 28 factories was confirmed by the now departed Secretary of State Peter Hain. Still the dirty tricks and smears continue in the wake of these broken promises. Management now intend to sack even more disabled workers than they started out planning to sack.

This whole exercise has been a sham and a disgrace which will taint the relationship between GMB and the Government.”

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