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Remploy staff to hold second strike
The Government plans to close 27 Remploy factories by the end of the year
Disabled workers are due to stage a second 24-hour strike in protest at Government plans to close their factories.
Staff at Remploy sites across Britain will walk out for a second time after a "successful" stoppage last week.
The workers have received thousands of messages of support since launching a campaign against the closures, according to unions.
Unite and the GMB are organising the protests against the planned closure of 27 Remploy factories by the end of the year, with a further 18 due to close or be sold off next year, and another nine facing an uncertain future.
Unite's national officer, Sally Kosky, said: "Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith may enjoy being the self-confessed Quiet Man of British politics - but he should be turning up the volume in support of these vulnerable workers, many with disabilities.
"Last week's strike was massively supported by the workforce, members of the public, trade unions and disability organisations, and we expect a similar strong turn-out tomorrow. The Government needs to hear the very loud call that there needs to be a radical change of policy over the future of the Remploy factories."
Phil Davies, national officer of the GMB, said: "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."
Remploy said almost 40% of its 54 factories worked normally during last week's strike. A spokesman said: "Significant numbers of employees turned up to work as normal and the company thanks them for their commitment. We deplore attempts to intimidate employees who want to work.
"Employees who turned up for work will be paid as usual and the company will not pay workers who take strike action. The latest one-day strike will do nothing to secure the future jobs of Remploy staff.
"The company is concerned that industrial action could deter prospective buyers for nine factories for which formal bids have been invited and it is clear that concern is shared by a very large number of our employees. Strike action could also affect the prospects for 18 other Remploy factories which it is believed could be commercially viable after the Government withdraws funding from Remploy."
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