Tag Archives: Remploy

A Truly Chilling Move: Now Maximus Are Trying To Buy Remploy

maximusfbUS based multinational Maximus could be set to expand their monopoly over the lives of sick and disabled people by buying up what’s left of soon to be privatised Remploy.  This brazen move is sure to inflame anger against the company who are already facing protests after winning the contract to take over running the despised Work Capability Assessment from Atos.

Shortly after the government embarked on the cruel and vindictive closure of the Remploy factories, parts of the organisation were hived off and turned into a sort of state run welfare-to-work company.  Then last year it was announced this would be sold off to the private sector under an initiative bizarrely called Project Jupiter.

Just two companies have submitted bids to buy Remploy, Maximus and Prospects.  Both of these companies are already involved in the welfare-to-work  sector and the Remploy deal comes with a big juicy DWP contract to run the Work Choice scheme, alongside contracts to run parts of the Work Programme and the Access To Work scheme for disabled workers.  In other words they buy Remploy and the DWP spends the next few years giving them their money back.

Maximus have even produced a cringe-making youtube video (comments currently open) for the staff at Remploy with sinister Chief Executive Richard Montoni and his glassy-eyed corporate lacky Bruce Caswell spinning away the crimes of these profit hungry vultures.  Do not belive the fucking hype.  Richard Montoni earns a staggering $5 million a year to spout this shit.   In the US Maximus have faced both protests and law suits as they have gobbled up ever more public services, including contracts to disqualify people from free healthcare.  In Saudi Arabia they quite happily operate a gender segregated workforce, with ‘male candidates preferred‘ for some roles despite their claim to be equal opportunity employers.  In the UK they are already heavily involved in workfare and the harrowing benefit sanctions regime which has been linked to a growing number of suicides.

Should Maximus be successful in buying Remploy then their power over sick and disabled people’s lives will be chilling and unprecedented.  Disabled people who needs funding for adjustments at work through Access To Work will be assessed by Maximus.  People who need to take time off due to sickness or disability will soon have their absence acredited by Maximus, not their GP, as part of their Fit For Work contract.  If someone has to leave work because of a health condition then it will be a Maximus run Work Capability Assessment which decides whether they are eligible for sickness and disability benefits.  If they are found fit for work, or even possibly able to work in the future, then, depending on where they live they may be sent on the Work Programme.  With Maximus.  If unemployed disabled people want to join the so far voluntary Work Choice scheme then they will be sent to Maximus.  These bastards need to be stopped.

The decision on who gets to buy Remploy will be made in the next few weeks with an announcement expected in March.  You can share your thoughts with them on twitter @Remploy and @MAXIMUS_news.

In the meantime please spread the word about the Day of Action Against Maximus set to take place on the 2nd March.  Please tweet, share, blog and post everywhere: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/01/maximus-day-of-action-2nd-of-march-list-of-events-around-the-uk-scrapwca/

Above pic from: https://www.facebook.com/PhillEvansIllustration

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Number Of Disabled People Helped Into Work Drops By Over A Third Boasts DWP

access-to-workMinister for Murdering Disabled People Esther McVey has released a press release today boasting that less disabled people have been helped into work than at any point since 2007.

Murdering McVey refers to regional figures for the Government’s Access To Work scheme, which show that even in large cities such as Leeds or Glasgow, barely a few hundred people are being helped by the scheme.

The latest official figures for the Government’s Access To Work scheme were released in January (PDF), and did not merit a DWP Press Release.  It is easy to understand why.  The figures cover the six month period between April and September 2012 and show that the number of disabled people helped into jobs has plummeted since this Government weren’t elected.

At its peak in 2009/2010, the Access To Work programme, which helps pay for specialist equipment for disabled workers, helped 16,540 new disabled people into employment.

By 2011/12 this numbers had dropped to 9,980.  The latest figures show that just 4,960 people had benefited from the scheme in the first six months of the latest period – meaning if such pitiful performance continues this will be the worst year yet.

This is despite the promises from Ministers that the thousands of sacked Remploy workers would find new jobs through Access To Work.

Even during the worst of the recession 14,010 new people were helped into employment via Access To Work, almost a third higher then the recent dire statistics.  The latest figures suggest one of two things.  The Tories have either broken the Access To Work scheme or despite the manipulated unemployment figures there are no fucking jobs.  Of course both of these things are quite likely to be true.

Sanctions and Workfare May Await Remploy Workers

The Government’s brutal decision to throw disabled Remploy workers on the scrapheap is the latest attack on disabled people by the most hostile Government in living memory.  Maria Killer Miller, the Minister for Disability, yesterday confirmed the closure of 27 Remploy factories, meaning the loss of 1,700 jobs.

Shamefully several disability charities, such as Mencap, have backed the factory closures.  Charities claim the factories are old fashioned, as if their organisations, steeped as they are in Victorian paternalism, represent the cutting edge of social care.

This isn’t an argument about workplace segregation, which most people accept is not an ideal solution.  But if we lived in an ideal world then disability charities wouldn’t exist.  Society, meaning all of us, not government, would take care of the needs of everybody without busy-body middle class charity workers sticking their noses into people’s lives.

The debate over the Remploy closures is an argument about basic fucking humanity.  The question is simply whether disability charities are content to destroy the lives of almost 2000 workers in the name of non-existent inclusivity in the capitalist workplace.  And the answer to that is yes they are.

It is a sad fact that greedy employers discriminate against disabled people.  The cruel and unnecessary closures of the Remploy factories will not change that one bit.  All it will achieve is condemning 1,700 workers to the most brutal manifestation of the Welfare State possibly ever seen in a developed economy.

The charities supporting the closures have lucrative sub-contracts under the Work Programme, the scheme that is currently failing miserably at helping anybody find work.  Charities no doubt hope that former Remploy workers will be referred to them, where under threat of benefit sanctions they will be forced into often pointless and inane ‘job search’ activities.  Once again disability charities have pitted their own financial self-interest against the needs and opinions of disabled people.

These charities however may find themselves in for a shock.  Under the welfare system as it currently operates, many former Remploy workers will be forced into making an application for the sickness and disability benefit Employment Support allowance (ESA).  To do this they will need to attend a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) with poverty pimps Atos, a private company notorious for stripping benefits from as many disabled people as possible.

The WCA assumes that should a claimant demonstrate the ability to carry out any form of work then they should be placed on Job Seekers Allowance rather than ESA.  Remploy workers are likely to find their time as the factories is used against them to prove they are ‘fit for work’.

Far from languishing on sickness or disability benefits, these workers will then be forced into the brutal workfare and sanctions regime currently inflicted on those claiming unemployment benefits.  Jobcentre staff are not usually trained in disability issues. Disabled workers may find themselves sent on Mandatory Work Activity should a Jobcentre advisor decide they aren’t trying hard enough to find work.  With a savage irony, disabled people could find themselves forced to work without pay in one of the shops run by the very charities who supported the Remploy closures.

Should they not find a job quick enough – and research suggests that almost no-one finds work after being declared ‘fit for work’ – then under new rules they could be sentenced to up to six months workfare.

If, due to sickness or disability,they are not able to attend everyday, then they will face benefit sanctions, meaning loss of some or all vital support.  Should they not be able to show up to workfare three times then they could have benefits stopped for three years.

This is the hell that Liz Sayce, Chairperson of RADAR, who recommended the Remploy closures, has inflicted on disabled workers.  The worst case scenario is disabled workers being stripped of benefits and forced into poverty and quite likely homelessness.  As we have seen so many times in the benefits system, the worst case scenario very often turns out to be standard practice.  The Atos assessment system, under which people are judged ‘fit for work’ only to die of their conditions shortly afterwards, is testament to that.

The fight to save Remploy is not over.  Remploy workers have already voted to strike against the plans.  With even some sections of the right wing press opposed to the closures it is possible, of sadly unlikely, that the Government may back down.  Even if they don’t Remploy workers aren’t going anywhere without a fight which is a struggle we should all support.


Iain Duncan Smith Launches Shocking Attack On Disabled Workers

Iain Duncan Smith has launched an astonishing attack on disabled workers exposing that the Tories are still very much the ‘nasty party’.

The outburst came when the Daily Express delivered 15,000 ‘Save Remploy’ letters to him from their readers.  The Government are closing the Remploy factories in a decision which will see 1,500 disabled workers sacked.

Showing his utter contempt for the soon to be unemployed workforce, IDS snapped:

“Is it a kindness to stick people in some factory where they are not doing any work at all? Just making cups of coffee?”

When questioned on his shocking statements the Secretary of State of Work and Pensions became even more abusive.  When a Remploy worker pointed out that they do work in their factories, IDS’  aggressive response was:  “You don’t produce very much at all.”

Finally IDS revealed his belief that no disabled people should have any say in their own lives when he said: “How far do you want to go with the idea that you can choose to do exactly what you want?”

Not being able to do exactly what you want, like use the tube in London, is something many disabled people are all too familiar with.

Previously IDS has kept hidden his unpleasant opinions behind DWP Press Releases accusing sick and disabled people of being scroungers or faking it.  Press Releases, it should be said, that the Daily Express have been only too happy to splash on their front pages.

This latest temper tantrum has showed IDS for what he truly is.  A spiteful, bigoted little shit who can’t keep either his temper or his prejudice under control.

The truth is that Iain Duncan Smith is a political failure.  Whilst he’s got time to insult disabled workers, he barely mentions Universal Credit these days.  Is his slipping composure down to the fact his deluded plans for a Big Brother style database watching our every move are being revealed as mere fantasy behind the scenes?

The Atos assessments are a brutal shambles and plans to extend this to DLA claimants are already looking disastrous.  The Work Programme has collapsed after the business community told them they wanted no part in the ‘toughest ever sanctions regime’ for those not attending workfare.  Welfare Reform under IDS is turning into a sick joke, with people assessed as being able to work inconveniently dying a week later, and Work Programme  private sector providers scarpering with billions of tax payer’s cash for doing precisely fuck all.

On top of this he is despised by Cameron, Osborne and the rest of the arrogant posh boys in the cabinet.  IDS, who has an army background (officer class, it’s a wonder he wasn’t shot by his own troops), is seen as an oik by the new breed of toffs in Government.  He hasn’t even made that much money, despite paying his wife Betsy a small fortune in tax payers cash to sit around at home whilst he was Tory leader.

After ‘Betsygate’ blew up IDS was reportedly furious at two Tory Party workers he believed were behind the leaks which led to the scandal.  IDS was eventually cleared by the Commons standards committee who called his affairs ‘not ideal’ but conceded no rules had been broken.  This is known as getting off on a technicality.

IDS vowed bloody revenge on party worker Vanessa Gearson and Tory Chief Executive Mark MacGregor.  He blamed both of them for documentation falling into the hands of the BBC which led to the investigation into his dodgy financial affairs.   Despite the two of them being cleared of any wrong doing in 2006, IDS threatened to resign the Tory whip if they were ever allowed to run as Tory MPs.

Whilst Francis Maude amongst others is said to be keen on their return, until now they have not yet been selected as MPs.  It is clear that Cameron is too spineless to take on the errant Secretary of State just yet.

Iain Duncan Smith remains a darling of the Tory right despite his string of scandals and mishaps.  He is ruthlessly homophobic, having voted against every piece of LGBT rights legislation, except the Civil Partnership Bill, which he didn’t bother to turn up for.  Whilst he was party leader the Tories were accused of ‘endemic racism’ by black Tory Peer Lord Taylor of Warwick .  He is known to be virulently anti-Europe and was one of the ‘bastards’ who helped orchestrate John Major’s fall from grace.  And his latest comments aimed at disabled workers shows his unpleasant views haven’t changed in the slightest from the days when bigotry was the respectable face of the Conservative Party.

All of this makes him popular with the swivel-eyed freaks on the right of the Tory Party.  The very same out of touch weirdos who are calling for Cameron’s blood now whilst obsessing about gay marriage.  For this reason he’s unlikely to be sacked anytime soon.

Cameron is simply too gutless to remove this embarrassment from government just yet.  Far better to let him carry on wasting money on Universal Credit and then, when it fails miserably, regretfully remove him from post.  The biggest and most expensive disaster in the history of the Welfare State is steaming ahead simply because Cameron isn’t a strong enough party leader to put the breaks on.

Once again Cameron would rather let the country, our money, and disabled people’s lives go to hell in a handcart rather than damage his own chances of clinging on to the leadership until the next election.

For more info on the fight to save the Remploy Factories visit: http://www.remployworkers.info/

Action Escalates Against Welfare Reform

Despite the passing of the Welfare Reform Bill recently resistance to it’s implementation shows no sign of dying down.  A range of actions and protests are due to take place, aimed not just at Welfare Reform, but also the savage cuts to vital services, the butchering of the NHS and the just plain cruel Remploy factory closures.

On Wednesday 18th April, disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be meeting outside McDonalds in Leicester Square at 1.30pm to take action against the benefit cuts, care funding and the Remploy closures.  Please come if you can and help spread the word.  Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/events/419514208074402/

Prior to this a demonstration will take place outside the Policy Exchange Conference where lying bastard Chris Grayling will be a keynote speaker.  Meet at Microsoft, 80-100 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 5JL at 9am.

Then on Thursday a public meetings is being held to discuss the Remploy Closures.  The meeting will take place at ULU, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY – download the leaflet for more info (PDF).

Friday 20th April will see demonstrations against the Remploy closures in Sheffield as well as a mass demo in London which will meet outside the DWP at noon before marching to Parliament.  Full details at: http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/04/demo-for-remploy-workers-april-20th-london/

There will be protests targeting fake hippy bastards Virgin on the 20/12st April due to their involvement in NHS reform – more info at: http://righttowork.org.uk/2012/04/tell-richard-branson-keep-virgin-profiteering-out-of-our-nhs/

There are workfare protests taking place in the Birmingham area on the 21st and 28th of this month – whilst a Workfare Walk of Shame will be held in Liverpool on the 28th – keep an eye on the facebook page for details at: http://www.facebook.com/events/133232176807516/

As previously mentioned, May Day will see a Central London day of action action against workfare – meet on the TUC March or keep an eye on the Solidarity Federation website or facebook page for more details nearer the time.  For more details on the ongoing campaigns against workfare visit: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

Please help spread the word about all events, tweet, share on facebook and all that stuff.    Let’s show this toff Government of little posh boys what happens when they fuck with the working class.

Demo for Remploy Workers: April 20th London

From UNITE – via DPAC

Date: Friday, 20th April 2012
Time: Assembly Midday
Place: Outside the Department of Work and Pensions, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA
Rally: March to Old Palace Yard, Westminster (opposite Parliament) for Rally with Speakers

We must show the strength of feeling that taking jobs from disabled people should not be tolerated in a civilised society.

Transport is being arranged from all Remploy London sites.  For information contact: julie.haynes@remploy.co.uk

It would be helpful if you can register to attend by clicking http://fight4remploy.eventbrite.co.uk/

Please come – and bring your friends – and bring your families too!!

On 7th March Remploy announced its intention to close all of its factories with the potential compulsory redundancy of 1,752 mostly disabled workers. The joint Unions are committed to fighting to save the Remploy factories and our members’ jobs.

We must show the strength of feeling that taking jobs from disabled people should not be tolerated in a civilised society. It will not improve the country’s financial situation – it may well make it worse.

Join us in the fight to save Remploy

This is 2 days after the Central London action planned by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) on the 18th April – meet at Leicester Square McDonalds at 1.30.

DPAC are currently trying to raise money to help with people’s travel costs on the day – please help if you can.