Trade Unions protest against factory closure
Remploy has set out to give disabled people, and those with learning difficulties, the opportunity to work by providing sustainable employment opportunities. The Remploy site in Portal Way, North Acton, employs 36 people, 30 of whom have disabilities. Staff at the factory make a wide range of goods, from office furniture to electronic equipment.
The scheme, established in 1945 and with a network of factories and outlets nationwide, costs £36 million a year. It is owned by the government but, unlike private enterprises, is not required to turn a profit. However, if things go ahead as planned, the Acton factory may be closed for good.
On Saturday, campaigners were leafleting in Acton’s Market Place, encouraging shoppers to sign a petition against the closure.
Eve Turner, the secretary for West London TUC said: “The risk is that these local workers will be thrown on to the scrap heap. It would be another blow to disabled people, whose benefits are being cut even if they are too ill to work”.
Responding, Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central and Acton said: “I was certainly struck by the positive attitude I encountered when I visited the Remploy factory in Acton last year”.
She went on to say: “Once the consultation closes in October, the Government is looking to invest in the best possible system for disabled people who want to work. The aim being to encourage an extra 35,000 people into employment.”