Portsmouth workers set to strike over factory closure

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REMPLOY workers in Portsmouth are set to strike in protest over the city factory closing down.

The Unite and GMB unions said two strikes will take place, on Thursday July 19 and Thursday, July 26.

There are 54 Remploy factories in the UK under threat of closure or being sold off.

They provide employment for disabled people.

Unite’s national officer for the not-for-profit sector, Sally Kosky said: ‘This vote for strike action demonstrates our members’ disgust at the way they have been treated by the government’s policies which are designed to throw them on the dole queue at a very difficult economic time.

‘Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith - the uncaring face of the coalition – has provoked this strike at Remploy by refusing to listen to the economic arguments. His decision is based on right-wing dogma.

‘Our members are desperate to work in an environment that takes account of their disability and where they can make a valued contribution to society and pay their way.’

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘The government’s intention to destroy thousands of disabled workers jobs in Remploy has given rise to an overwhelming vote for strike action against the proposed closures of their 54 factories.

‘These closures are going ahead without any consideration of the feelings and needs of these workers and their families or their future job prospects. To close a factory that employs disabled people in the present economic climate is a sentence to life of unemployment and poverty.’