Unite the Union

Unite the Union

January 25, 2008 11:21 ET

Workers at Remploy Vote for Strike Action

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2008) - Unite the Union and GMB members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action at two Remploy sites in the North West over closure plans.

73% of Workers taking part in the ballot at Aintree voted in favour of strike action and 100% of workers taking part in the ballot at Birkenhead voted in favour of strike action.

Unite and GMB members at Remploy's Aintree and Central Cutting Unit Birkenhead plants are the first of 28 sites to be balloted on industrial action over plans to close Remploy factories across the UK. Aintree works in toiletries and contract packaging whilst the Birkenhead site uses the most advanced computerised cutting equipment to manufacture garments such as chemical and biological warfare suits for the MOD, stab vests for the Police, marine safety wear, health care products as well as supplying major retailers including Barbour, Berghaus, and IKEA.

The union is now giving the company notice of strike action at its sites in Aintree and Birkenhead which could begin early February.

Unite say it is disappointed at the lack of consultation with trade unions over the selection procedure for factory site closure and voluntary redundancies at Remploy. The union is pressing Remploy to conduct appropriate consultation with its members about the future of their jobs and plans for factory closure.

The Remploy Consortium of Trade Unions (Unite, GMB and Community) has vowed to fight the closure of 28 Remploy factories, including Aintree and Birkenhead and the jobs of its' employees. Remploy is the UK's biggest employer of disabled people and employs over 5,000 disabled workers in 82 factories nationally.

Unite Assistant General Secretary, Tony Burke, said:

"These ballot results give a strong indication of the strength of feeling across Remploy nationally.Remploy management are determined to close these factories and business units and Unite and its' members are equally determined to stop them.

"We are extremely disappointed it has come to the stage and hope that Remploy management listens to its workforce to stop the closures and save the jobs of its loyal staff, many of whom will find it difficult to find employment if the company's plans to close 28 factories go ahead."

Unite says it blames Remploy management of a deliberate strategy of closure and lack of ability to run a successful commercial enterprise.

Contact Information

  • Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315
    or
    Catherine Bithell
    07958 473 224
    or
    Kevin Hepworth
    07976 265 630