Penwith Anti-Cuts Alliance are currently campaigning against the government’s proposed closure of the Remploy factory in Longrock near Penzance, Cornwall. Around 400 people signed a petition in two hours on Saturday 7 April despite a rain shower. We will also be out each Saturday for the next few weeks from 11am at the bottom on Causeway Head in Penzance.
Colin Grey GMB rep at the factory has said to us:
“The people who work in Remploy are not institutionalised; they lead perfectly normal lives in and out of Remploy. We are not segregated, we are immersed in the local community and work in a place that has meaningful employment, no different than any other, apart from that it employs a greater proportion of people with a disability.
“Remploy is not only a place of work it is a support network not only for those that work here but for the wider community. It gives meaningful employment to those that would find it impossible to work in mainstream employment. We are, for the want of a better word, a family that cares for each other in far more areas than any mainstream employer would be able to.
“Remploy in employing us gives us dignity, a living wage, a reason to get up in the morning, support not only at work but in our personal lives, and most of all, a life. We have for many years worked for a living and not stayed at home on benefits as most, if not all, could have.
“To take Remploy away in my opinion would be the real segregation subjecting many, many hundreds to live on benefits and never work again, and to languish in poverty and despair. I urge all to do what they can to stop this government making a huge mistake in destroying Remploy, because when it’s gone, it’s gone.”
The workers, the GMB trade union, Penwith Anti-Cuts Alliance, other local disability organisation and individuals are looking to hold a public meeting in the near future to discuss the next steps in the campaign. If you would like to help to organise this or get involved in the campaign, call Alana on 07530428246 or come to our next organising meeting. It will be at 7pm on Monday 16 April at the Crown pub at the bottom of Bread Street, Penzance.