Disabled staff could face redundancy

Chloe Postlethwaite, right, and Amber Kalliari

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STAFF working for the Portsmouth branch of a company which employs many disabled workers could be asked to take voluntary redundancy.

Remploy, which has a factory in Rodney Road, says its factory businesses have suffered under the current economic climate, with many operating at less than 50 per cent capacity.

A spokesman for Remploy said: 'As a result Remploy is not fulfilling its mission to provide sustainable employment opportunities for disabled people.

'We will ensure that any employee who decides to leave and wants to continue working will have guaranteed support from our employment services to find another job.'

The redundancies could result in around 1,500 jobs going nationally, union leaders warned.

This is half the entire Remploy Enterprise Businesses and Central Service, which includes Remploy Packaging, the service based in Rodney Road.

GMB national officer Phil Davies said: 'The factory sites have since been starved of work because of an incompetent and overpaid management.

'The trade unions will not accept this situation and will fight to stop the sell-off of disabled jobs. This is the harshest cut of all that this Government has proposed.

'To make things worse the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, publicly pledged his full support in 2008 to stop any Remploy factory closures.'

Unite blamed 'poor management' for the announcement, warning that half of the 3,000 disabled employees, some of them severely disabled, could lose their jobs.

Unite leader Len McCluskey called on the Government to intervene, saying: 'Ultimately, there is the prospect that some of these factories could close.'