MORE than 30 people with disabilities could be out of a job if proposals go ahead to close the Remploy factory in Acton.
The company, which employs mainly disabled workers, is looking at shutting down 36 of its 54 sites nationwide, including Acton, before the end of 2012 as it is believed they are not financially viable.
Eve Turner, secretary of Ealing Trades Union Council said: “We are complete opposed to these closures for three main reasons. Firstly, it will be very difficult for the employees to find work. Secondly, they will have to turn to benefits, which will put an even bigger drain on the economy.
“Thirdly, Remploy factories provide a very supportive environment for people who work with disabilities, and it will be very difficult to find a similar environment if the factory is closed down.”
Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, visited the Remploy factory, which employs 32 people, during her campaign for election. She said: “When I visited the site, it was very clear even then was that Acton was one of the last remaining Remploy factories in London.
“What that told me is that there has been a long-running programme of closures initiated by the previous government, based on costs.
“What’s happening now is that there will be consultation programme. It’s not set in stone that there will be closures but obviously that’s what Remploy wants to do.
“I actually think that we can do a great deal better. It’s practically Victorian to suggest that people who want to work but suffer from disability should work in separate factories.”
She added that the government is protecting its budget for helping disabled people find work, and will ensure the money is spent more efficiently.
The Gazette contacted Remploy for a comment and was directed to a statement on the company’s website.
It said: “Remploy will now consult with its trades unions and the management forums on the proposed closure in 2012 of 36 of its factories which it believes are not commercially viable, and on the potential compulsory redundancy of 1,752 employees directly or indirectly involved with these businesses.
“During this consultation Remploy will consider all measures to avoid redundancies.”