LOCAL councils have been accused of failing to support factories employing disabled workers.
The charge came during a Commons debate on the threatened closure of all 54 Remploy factories with 4,000 potential job losses.
The factories include one making car headrests and employing about 35 people at Tandem Industrial Estate, Waterloo in Huddersfield.
The Government plans to cut funding to Remploy as part of efforts to promote mainstream employment options for disabled.
But the GMB claimed factories had been made less economic by being only 50% “loaded” with work – because public bodies had failed to support them as allowed under European Union rules or their managers were turning down work.
MPs supporting the sites also claimed it would cost the Treasury less to keep the sites open than make the workers redundant.
Phil Davies, GMB national officer, said: “The crucial campaign objective for Remploy workers is to get the loading up from 50% now to 100% and to keep these factories open. They have a successful track record going back to 1946.”
The union said that closing the factories would cost the Government money rather than create savings – adding that most Remploy workers who lost their jobs in 2008 were still on benefits.
Earlier this month, Huddersfield Trades Union Council organised a rally against the closure plan at Huddersfield Town Hall to coincide with a meeting of Kirklees Council.