May 24 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips, Senior Reporter
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Disabled workers could be hit by a pensions “bombshell” when their factories are sold off, the country’s biggest union has warned.
The staff from Remploy may have to fight to keep their pension entitlements on the same level if the plants are taken over by the private sector, Unite said this week.
Thirty four factories face the axe this year, including the premises in Long Reach Road, Barking.
Around 2,800 disabled employees across the country stand to lose their jobs by December, including 50 workers in Barking who have taken part in two national strikes.
Unite regional officer, Kevin Hepworth, said: “This is a bombshell for those workers at Remploy factories that will be sold off. This is a cruel blow, hacking away at the retirement incomes of workers with disabilities.”
A government spokesman said: “The government has promised the benefits that members of the scheme have built up will be fully protected - this is more protection than someone working in the private sector might receive.
“Our priority throughout Remploy’s commercial process has always been to safeguard as many jobs as possible whilst using the £320 million protected specialist employment support budget we have to get more of the UK’s 6.9million disabled people of working age into mainstream employment - something that we know they want.”