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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Remploy receives 'rescue package'
Remploy workers
Remploy helps disabled people find work
The future of Remploy - the factories employing disabled people - looked more secure after the government announced a 555m package to safeguard its future.

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain said he had also told Remploy bosses that there would be no factory closures without ministerial agreement.

Forty-three UK factories had been earmarked for closure with the loss of 2,500 jobs.

Mr Hain told Labour's conference there would be no compulsory redundancies.

He added that he was working with Cabinet colleagues to help win more public procurement contracts with Remploy to help secure its future.

Trade union agreement

The announcement averted a clash with the GMB, Unite and Community unions who have called for the sites to stay open and launched a nationwide campaign of marches and protests in the run-up to this week's Bournemouth conference.

It also headed off the threat of an embarrassing defeat for the government over the issue.

In a speech to the conference, Mr Hain said: "I have also made clear to Remploy management that no factory closures will take place without the agreement of government ministers.

"And, whatever the final shape of that agreement, the government will provide a subsidy of more than half a billion pounds over five years - a 555m package - for Remploy to have a successful future. A figure the trade unions have also agreed.

"And a categorical guarantee: There will be no compulsory redundancies for Remploy's disabled workers. Salaries guaranteed. Full final salary pensions protected as well."

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