Disabled workers forge ahead with strikes in Barking

Remploy workers joined a second day of strike action in a desperate bid to save up to 50 jobs.

The disabled staff walked out on Thursday at the factory in Long Reach Road, Barking, to protest against plans to close 34 factories in Britain.

Around 50 workers stand to lose their jobs in Barking by December and 2,800 across the country.

The government, which subsidises the factories, is seeking to move disabled workers into mainstream employment but the GMB union fears many will not find jobs elsewhere.

GMB reps are to meet Remploy chiefs in Coventry HQ on Thursday.

The union will seek to secure a 3.5 per cent inflation pay increase for the disabled workers and increase redundancy pay-offs from around �9,000 to �25,000.

National organiser Jerry Nelson, said: “We have another day of action on August 6.

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“A lot of people will be given redundancy notices on August 18.

“We have a short window of opportunity to make a point.”

The union-led protests came after a council survey revealed that five per cent of people with learning disabilities were in paid employment in 2010/11 in the borough compared to nine per cent in the capital on average.

A government spokesman said: “The �320million budget for specialist disability employment services has been protected but by spending the money more effectively, we can support thousands more disabled people in work.

“All disabled Remploy staff affected by the change will be guaranteed a package of tailored support to help with the transition.”