Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 11:23 UK

Union campaign to re-open factory

Remploy workers
The York factory used to make military chemical warfare suits

A union is to start a campaign to re-open a factory which employed disabled people after discovering many former employees have not found work.

The Remploy plant in York was one of 29 company sites across the UK which closed over the past year.

The GMB said out of the 54 people who used to work at the York plant, 23 had not found another job.

The union said there was a strong case for saving the factory which made military chemical warfare suits.

The closures were part of plans by Remploy to cut costs and place more disabled people into mainstream employment rather than in sheltered workshops.

This has affected thousands of workers but also their friends and families
GMB national officer Phil Davies

Phil Davies, national officer for the GMB union, said their survey of the 2,500 workers who had lost their jobs showed hundreds have not found other work, did not take redundancy and were being paid under a compensation scheme to stay at home.

He added some former workers were now working in charity shops so were not using the skills they had previously acquired.

Remploy workers lobbied delegates at the Labour conference in Manchester earlier urging support for the GMB's campaign.

Mr Davies said: "This has affected thousands of workers but also their friends and families.

"There is a lot of bitterness over the way the government handled the closures."

Vigil over Remploy closure plans
04 Mar 08 |  North Yorkshire
Workers strike over factory cuts
13 Feb 08 |  Bradford

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific