Tag Archives: Remploy

Scottish Government must intervene now after new Remploy closure

6 Dec

Unite Scotland has slammed this morning’s announcement that the Clydebank Remploy factory is to close at a cost of 36 local jobs for disabled workers and is calling on immediate intervention from the Scottish Government.

Remploy management at the West Dunbartonshire site, which manufactures textile components for the car industry, said the plant was ‘no longer viable’ and a 90 day consultation on redundancies will start ‘soon’.

Following last week’s confirmation that Remploy’s Springburn plant will close at a loss of 50 jobs, it’s another callous act forced by the UK government’s shameful ‘Access to Work’ scheme.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Lyn Turner said, “The UK government is landing blow after blow on the most vulnerable workers in our society and its clear they won’t rest until Remploy is obliterated, so the Scottish Government must intervene now.

Unite has called on the Scottish Government to follow the Welsh Government’s example and set aside a rescue package for our Remploy jobs –  it can be done swiftly if the political will is there.

Last week, we seen a passionate debate in the Scottish Parliament over Remploy and the Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing spoke about the ‘moral obligation’ of supporting these workers. 

Words come too easy, we now desperately need action.”


Notes: For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer for Remploy Lyn Turner on 07980871394 or Peter Welsh, Unite Scotland Communications on 07810157931.


Scottish Government must help now to save Remploy jobs

28 Nov

Unite has called on the Scottish Government to quickly make good on its earlier commitment to help save Remploy jobs in Scotland ahead of a third debate on the issue in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Thursday 29th November).

Unite is urging MSPs to put pressure on the Scottish Government to step-in with a rescue package that will support disabled employment across Scotland’s Remploy sites, using the example of the Welsh Government’s ‘Employer Support Grant’ (ESG) as a model of intervention.

In Scotland the fight to save jobs for vulnerable workers suffered a huge blow yesterday after it was announced the Remploy Springburn plant – the only Scottish & UK manufacturer of wheelchairs – would be closing after the DWP said a buyer could not be found.

Scottish Government Minister for Enterprise Fergus Ewing has visited all Scottish Remploy factories in recent weeks but with tensions in the workforce reaching breaking point following the closure of the Springburn site urgent clarity is now required.

Unite Regional Industrial Officer Lyn Turner said, “Alex Salmond has previously said that Remploy ‘goes beyond being a supported business and a place work and the Scottish Government will do all it can to assist’. Our members need that help now. 

The UK Government is throwing these vulnerable workers on the unemployment scrapheap and the white knight buyer process has been a sham.  Without the intervention of devolved governance these factories will close.

The Welsh Government has shown that there is a better way with the creation of the ESG – a subsidy scheme established to help employers recruit Remploy workers made redundant throughout 2012 – and they have told us they would be happy to speak with Alex Salmond at the next meeting of First Ministers. 

Opportunities are there to save these jobs and it would be an unforgiveable failure of Scottish governance and politics if we don’t even try.”  

The devastating impact of the UK Government’s ‘Access to Work’ policy has already resulted in over 1,500 compulsory redundancies across Remploy and the closure of nearly two-thirds of its factories.


Notes to Editors:  For further information please contact Unite Regional Industrial Officer Lyn Turner on 07980871394.

Please see details of the Remploy ESG Paper (Wales).

New community membership campaign meetings – Edinburgh & Glasgow

23 Oct

Unite is the biggest trade union in the UK and Ireland, with 1.5 million members and over a century of experience in organising to stand up for our rights at work.

Now Unite wants to take the unions beyond the workplace and into the community.

Community membership offers the chance to join for people who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to be part of a union because they’re not working – unemployed people, disabled people on benefits, retired folk or students. Community members get the support of the union with issues like free legal advice and access to training and education.

But it’s also bigger than that.  Being part of the union is about being part of a movement to build a better society. We want to bring people together who want to change something and who want to work with others to make their community a better place to live.

It could be something local like saving a library that’s closing or it could be a national issue like defending vulnerable people losing out through welfare cuts.

Unite will give you the support you need to build successful campaigns and groups – and make change happen.

To get things going in Edinburgh and Glasgow, we’ve organised our first meetings.  We want to bring together everyone who’s interested in organising and campaigning out in the community and has ideas about what we should do.

The meetings are open to all, so please come along and find out more.

Edinburgh: Saturday 27th October 2 – 4PM, St John’s Church, Princes Street, EH2 4BJ

Glasgow: Monday 29th October 6.30 – 8.30PM, John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street, G2 4RZ


For further information and to find out more about Community Membership, please contact Unite Scotland’s Community Coordinator, Jack Ferguson, on 0845 604 4384 or via email at jack.ferguson@unitetheunion.org


Remploy workers take action

6 Sep

Members at Remploy Clydebank

Unite members at Remploy factories are out in force today, with members at Clydebank and Cowdenbeath striking today to defend their livelihoods.

Unite Regional Officer Lyn Turner said:

“Our members at Remploy are fighting for their survival while Cameron rewards the minister responsible for the factory closures with a new cabinet post: Maria Miller the Remploy Killer has been promoted to Culture Secretary.

While the country celebrates the success of Paralympians on the sports field, our industrial paralympians are being thrown onto the scrap heap by this cabinet of callous millionaires.

We call upon Esther McVey, the new Minister for Disabled People, to reverse this ludicrous decision and give Remploy workers a fighting chance.

Our fight to defend our members at Remploy continues.”

The Campaign to Save Remploy

15 Sep

Remploy trade union members protested outside the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow yesterday where officials from the Department of Work and Pensions were meeting senior management from the company.  This is part of a ‘consultative road-show’ concerning  the Sayce report on supported employment, Getting in, Staying in and Getting On.  Unite has argued that these consultations are shrouded in secrecy.

The Sayce report  found that for every £1 spent on support through Access to Work, the government recoups £1.48. Our concern with the report centres on its emphasis of supporting the individual rather than institutions employing the disabled to gain and retain employment.  The need for supported employment is as necessary today as it was when Remploy was set up in 1945.

Remploy, which employs 4,000 people, including 2,800 with disabilities, has been subject to a voluntary redundancy programme which meant 700 people leaving the organisation.  It also provides sheltered employment for people with disabilities producing, among other things,  top range textiles used by security forces.