100,000 people have signed a petition calling for Remploy’​s factories to be kept open. The petition was handed to the government last week by the GMB union, which is fighting the closures. The union claims factories are being deliberately starved of orders to make them economically unviable.

Ironically, what could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Remploy was hammered home not by the government but by the voluntary sector.

Consultation on government support for Remploy factories ended on 17 October 2011 and could signal the end of employment specifically for disabled people. The Sayce review of disability employment services headed by the chief executive of Radar found that resources could be better used by supporting individual disabled people through the Access to Work Scheme rather than state supported institutions such as Remploy.

While trade unions representing members of the Remploy workforce were strongly opposed to the closure of Remploy factories, the Sayce review received support from a number of disability charities.

And more about the role of disability charities in seeking the closure of Remploy here.


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