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Remploy A Year Since Factories Closed

Thursday, October 30, 2014

GMB Survey Shows Majority Of Ex Remploy Workers Did Not Get Another Job One Year On From Last Of 51 Factory Closures

Disabled charities aided and abetted Government so that a huge percentage of those made redundant now sit at home depressed and isolated from any forms of social interaction or inclusion says GMB

GMB, the union for ex Remploy staff, commented on the first anniversary of the closure of  the last of the 51 of 54 Remploy factories that shut down.

Remploy had 54 factories at Aberdare, Aberdeen, Abertillery, Acton, Ashington, Barking, Barrow, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bridgend, Bristol, Burnley, Chesterfield, Cleator Moor, Clydebank, Coventry, Cowdenbeath, Croespenmaen, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Heywood, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Leven, Manchester, Merthyr Tydfil, Motherwell, Neath Port Talbot, Newcastle, North London, North Staffordshire, Norwich, Oldham, Penzance, Pontefract, Poole, Porth, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Southampton, Spennymoor, Springburn, Stirling, Sunderland, Swansea, Wigan, Worksop and Wrexham. All but 3 closed. Rempower Ltd took over the Remploy Automotive factories in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby.

GMB conducted a survey of ex Remploy workers earlier this year. Only one in four was employed and most were working shorter hours and on less pay. See notes to editors for copy of the survey results.

Jerry Nelson, GMB National Officer said, “It is now one year since the final day of the Remploy factory closures, over 2700 disabled workers had their lives destroyed by this Governments callous and thoughtless attack on the disabled workers, workers who relied on their employment to maintain their sense of independence working in an environment of protected equality. The factories were a sheltered environment and for many of these workers it was their only connection with life outside of their own homes.

What people need to remember is that not one single disabled worker within the factories were asked how they would feel about the closures.

We should know better than to expect that the thoughts or feelings of any worker could ever be considered by a right wing coalition government whose only aim is to feed the rich and greedy by bending the rules and taxation policies to benefit their kind.

Disabled workers had their lives destroyed for what, so the top rate of tax could be cut from 50% to 45% giving the all the Conservatives and their friends another £50,000 a year in their pockets on every million pounds they earn.

Is this everyone sharing the burden of austerity? We have a huge percentage of those members made redundant sat at home depressed and isolated from any forms of social interaction or inclusion. These are not there by choice. Unfortunately in many areas the economic climate is still depressed so there are not the jobs out there for able bodied workers so what chance a worker with severe learning or physical disabilities.

We will never forget or forgive this atrocious attack on the most vulnerable members of this union by this government. They used the Sayce Report and RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire as “Trojan horses” to close the Remploy factories.

Radar characterised Remploy as some out of date solution stigmatising  it as a form of ghettoization.

These organizations started with an aspiration we all share where all disabled people are treated in an equal way in employment and that ideal state may lead to a completely different view of what support is required.

This is the outcome when disabled charities made “the best” the enemy of the “good”. They started with resolutions that will not be achieved in the short run. They were then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and they went through the years sticking to that ignoring real needs, and they end in the grotesque chaos of disabled charities – disabled charities – used as Trojan horses to sack disabled workers in 51 locations across the UK.

The Tories knew what they were doing using these "useful idiots" who were party to this attack on disabled workers. GMB will never forget the role of and RADAR, Mind, Mencap, Scope, RNID and Leonard Cheshire.”


Contact; Jerry Nelson on 07958 156846 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editors.

GMB Remploy Survey – March 2014

1 Are you currently working?


Response Percent

Response Count











2 Are you working more hours, less hours or the same as you worked at Remploy?


Response Percent

Response Count







The same




3 Is your pay better, worse or the same as you received at Remploy?


Response Percent

Response Count







The same




4 Are the benefits (pension/holidays etc) better, worse or the same as you received at Remploy?


Response Percent

Response Count







The same




5 Do you prefer your new job to the one you did at Remploy?


Response Percent

Response Count









‘job centre or remploy were no help despite all the promises,  my friend got me this job’

‘this tupe is a shambles’

‘I only got this job through my brother in law who created this job for me’

‘just had the one job since leaving Remploy, who cares not the government’

‘tupied over,  worse employer been shafted’

‘worked in a charity shop for 5 month’

‘I have not worked since I left remploy. I had an accident when I was pregnant and wish disabled people could have remploy back’

‘one job lasted one day it was run badly. No induction or union and all foreign labour, this job given by appointed case worker, that was all they had to offer’

‘I have only been able to find voluntary work one day per week at cancer research’

‘no job since been made redundant in 2008, signed on for 6 months the man who was dealing with me was moved to Exeter and was not replaced and I was given no support’

‘no job no help no hope’

‘not worked since 2008’

‘worked as a volunteer in charity shop one day a week’

‘bring back remploy’

‘no job no interview’

‘tried to look for work and no job went to college and then still no work so decided to retire’



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