UNIONS have pledged to continue campaigning against the closure of Remploy factories – as they warned that employees’ pensions are also under threat.
The Government announced last month that 27 Remploy factories will close by the end of the year – throwing about 1,700 disabled workers out-of-work.
A further nine factories – including one at Tandem Industrial Estate, Waterloo – face an uncertain future while another 18 sites are due to close or be sold-off next year.
Remploy employees have held two 24-hour strikes this summer in a bid to force a Government rethink.
Unions say further protests are planned.
Phil Davies, national secretary for the GMB general union, said: “After the two days of strike action we are now asking the Remploy workers to discuss the next stage in the campaign.
“This could include demonstrations in London and other cities in September during the Paralympic games.
“We are not ruling out further industrial action.”
The union warned that Remploy workers transferring to a private employer will not get the same level of pension as they currently enjoy.
The Department of Work and Pensions has decided that any firm taking over a Remploy business won’t have to honour the Fair Deal pension’s legislation which ensures that a pension of similar value has to be provided.
The GMB and Unite have been campaigning to keep the Remploy factories open as viable businesses.
Unite regional officer Kevin Hepworth said: “This is a bombshell for those workers at Remploy factories that will be sold off. This is a cruel blow, hacking away at the retirement incomes of workers with disabilities.”