Remploy Seaside News, April 2011

Carwyn Jones AM visits the Bridgend Remploy factory
Carwyn Jones AM visits the Bridgend Remploy factory

The recent announcement from the UK Government to close 7 Remploy factories in Wales including the Bridgend Remploy is disappointing and deeply upsetting for disabled people employed in the factories. This is the latest hit to disabled people as part of the UK Government’s welfare reform.

I met a number of Remploy workers at a recent event held in the Senedd, where I spoke about the importance of fighting for a secure future for the factories and for the disabled workers who are anxious to keep their jobs.

The UK Government has refused to meet the requests of the Welsh Government to devolve the funding of the factories to Wales to enable us to find a way forward in supporting the sustainability of the factories. However, the Welsh Government is looking into options for saving the factories, including developing social enterprises.

Whilst ideally, disabled people should have equal opportunity and access to work anywhere they aspire to, in such difficult economic times this is not a reality, and the timing of the factory closures is appalling. There are not enough local jobs in Bridgend to move all of the Remploy workers to, inevitably forcing people out of work and onto benefits. I will be supporting my constituents in the Bridgend Remploy in their fight for a secure future.