Monday, 24 September 2007

Lambeth Green Councillor Rebecca Thackray Supports the Remploy Campaign

"As a nurse I am very familiar with the medical model of disability as a
condition related to individual functioning. 46 Remploy employees in Brixton are now familiar with the social model of disability too, as they face the threat of being disabled from work by the Remploy Board.
Where people are likely to be permanently deprived of access to
employment, the Green Party is unwilling to watch from the side-lines
without advocating for Remploy Workers.

This is an issue of human rights. It is unworthy of the sort of society
we want to see in 21st century Britain. We want more opportunities for
disabled people not fewer. It's not important to retain employees out of charity. Remploy supplies packaging, print, furniture, recycling IT, textiles, healthcare and building products. It meets high standards which have been long maintained and satisfies the market demand for quality, reliability and customer care.

In Lambeth we have recently witnessed:
  1. in health and social care - cuts,

  2. in Council Housing - wasted public funds on propoganda & an
    undemocratic ballot to place management of housing stock at arms-length,

  3. in education the rise of the Academies - schools erected by private
    entrepreneurs with no obligation to honour statutory statements for
    special educational needs.

As if there had not already been enough slackening of local government
responsibility to the most vulnerable - older people, ill people,
carers, council tenants, pupils with educational needs without job loss
of Remploy employees on Effra Road!

Public authorities are legally allowed to support contracts to Remploy -
amounting to a tiny fraction of tax payers' money. Is there the
political will to ensure that workshops are maintained and closure is
averted? Perhaps prior to the general election, Labour councillors would
care to nail their colours to the mast on where they stand on this."

Jean Lambert MEP Supports Remploy Campaign

Jean Lambert MEP, who is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee and the Disability Intergroup in the European Parliament, said: "The planned closure of the Remploy factory in Brixton will leave 46 highly skilled disabled workers without the opportunity to work in theirchosen field, delivering high quality goods and services"

She continued: "Evidence has shown that compared to able-bodied workers, working classdisabled people are far more likely to be employed at the lower end ofthe skill range under unfavourable terms and conditions. The Remploy trade unions have negotiated excellent sick pay and holiday benefits and afinal salary pension scheme, but workers now face losing their jobs andthese hard-won rights"

"I fully support the call for an end to the Remploy factory closures until a proper independent review has taken place, examining in full the opportunities to restructure and develop Remploy whilst retaining all the current manufacturing sites."