Portsmouth Remploy workers to strike again on Monday

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REMPLOY staff in Portsmouth will hold their third and final strike on Monday to protest at nationwide closures.

Picket lines are planned outside their Rodney Road office in Fratton from 7.15am, as staff at the government-run factory join their colleagues from around the UK.

They are trying to persuade work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to save Remploy from closure in strikes that have been organised by the GMB and Unite unions.

Unite says the government could do more to help some of the 1,700 Remploy staff find new work.

In Wales, the Welsh Assembly has pledged £2.4 million for employers who give jobs to Remploy workers when the factories in Wales close.

Phil Davies, GMB national secretary, added: When the first wave of factory closures happen by the end of the year, we will see about 1,700 disabled workers thrown on to the dole queue, at a time when those out of work for more than two years is at its worst rate since 1997.’

Last month the government announced that the 27 factories will close by the end of the year, and a further nine factories face an uncertain future.

The remaining 18 sites are due to close or be sold-off next year – including Portsmouth – and the workers voted to strike when negotiations broke down.