Brixton and Woolwich factory closures will affect London's disabled workers
The London Assembly today expressed its concern about the proposed closure of over half of Remploy's factories in the UK and the disruption this will cause for disabled workers. Members unanimously agreed a motion, calling for the Mayor and the London Development Agency to take steps to mitigate the effects of the closures th including those at premises in Brixton and Woolwich. Remploy offers training and employment for disabled workers.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The London Assembly today expressed its concern about the proposed closure of over half of Remploy’s factories in the UK and the disruption this will cause for disabled workers.
Members unanimously agreed a motion, calling for the Mayor and the London Development Agency to take steps to mitigate the effects of the closures – including those at premises in Brixton and Woolwich. Remploy offers training and employment for disabled workers.
The motion was proposed by John Biggs AM and seconded by Mike Tuffrey AM. The full text of the motion is:
“This Assembly notes with concern the announcement that Remploy, which offers long-term sustainable training and employment to disabled workers, intends to close over half its factories in the UK.
“In particular, the Assembly notes the proposal to close premises in Brixton and Woolwich, two of the most deprived areas of London. This will be highly disruptive to a group of severely disabled workers.
“Integrating these workers into jobs in a areas that already have above average unemployment will be extremely difficult.
“This Assembly calls upon the Mayor and the London Development Agency to explore, as a matter of urgency, what steps can be taken to mitigate the effects of these displacements in line with the commitment made through the GLA core principles of actively supporting disability equality in London’s workforce.”
Sally Hamwee AM, Chair of the Assembly, said: “In an ideal world, the opportunity to work in mainstream employment would be available to all disabled people, but we must recognise there remains a huge hill to climb before that ideal becomes a reality. Whilst there are clearly challenging issues facing Remploy in ensuring the sustainability of their business, I am concerned that any changes must recognise the needs of disabled people in London and the important role sheltered employment can play in meeting those needs.”
John Biggs said: “The Woolwich and Brixton premises are in two of the most deprived areas in London so the effects of closure will be felt hardest here. Unfortunately, it may be too late to save the factories but my Labour colleagues and I are calling on the Mayor and LDA to do all they can to mitigate the effects of closure and ensure that no disabled workers are left high and dry.
“I understand that Remploy are offering employees transfers to their Barking branch. While we welcome this, it should be remembered that for many disabled people travelling any kind of distance to work is not a viable option. It is issues like these that we are asking the Mayor and LDA to address as a matter of urgency.”
Notes to Editors
As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
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