This video from Britain is called Remploy Workers Rally Manchester – 18 May 2012.
By Tony Patey and Rory MacKinnon in England:
Sacked workers storm Remploy HQ
Thursday 23 August 2012
Sacked Remploy workers stormed the company’s head office in Leicester today in a desperate bid to stop the government’s sell-off of sheltered workshops for people with disabilities.
Eight disabled workers including two union reps held Remploy House’s foyer from 11am – demanding answers from the company’s directors.
Until this year the state-owned company had 54 centres across Britain guaranteeing stable employment for people with disabilities from manufacturing to clerical work.
But Tory Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller has led plans to scrap the entire organisation over the next two years, saying money saved could be spent instead on employment support services.
The first wave, announced in March, will see 27 centres shut down before the year is out.
The closures will leave around 1,400 workers – 88 per cent of them legally classified as disabled – on the dole during record levels of unemployment.
GMB convener Les Woodward told the Morning Star he and the other staff had demanded to speak to a director, only to be told one was not available.
“We said this was unacceptable because we know there are many of them.
“They said they would contact a director who was in London, so we could speak to him on a conference phone. Then they started putting on all sorts of restrictions.”
A director finally took questions via conference call, saying he would pass them on to the rest of the board.
But Mr Woodward said the occupiers would stay there as long as they needed to get a reaction from directors – and they had brought along a book with 15,000 emailed messages of support to keep up morale.
Asked if police had been called, Mr Woodward said: “There have been some veiled threats and we suppose that might be the next stage of the proceedings.”
Workers at the Chesterfield and Springburn factories, which are among those facing closure, still plan to hold a week-long strike from September 3.
The government’s treatment of people with disabilities is likely to see increased international scrutiny as the Paralympic Games begin next week.
Further demonstrations are planned against its corporate sponsor, welfare privateer Atos.
Remploy activists are also planning a demonstration near the main stadium in Stratford on August 29.