Paralympics and Remploy

There’s no greater symbol of what people with physical disabilities can achieve than the paralympics. There is no greater symbol of what the Coalition is doing to make disabled people’s lives a misery than the current struggle for the existence of Remploy supported employment factories. The Paralympics and Remploy were created at around the same time Remploy 1946 and the Paralympics 1948. Many Remploy workers are former Paralympians some with medals. The Parlympics is a great showcase of talent but it makes money for private capital. Remploy is a great show case of what people with disabilities can achieve in manufacturing, but it does depend on state funding. Remploy is also one of the really strong bastions of manufacturing and public sector trade unionism. It’s stewards’ consortium has the banner declaring Workers of the World Unite. So the attack on Remploy is absolutely central to the whole neoliberal project of the Coalition government – they want to destroy organised workplaces, attack the young and the disabled, and end public funding to worthwhile wealth creating employment. Just as the attack on the miners in 1984 represented the very heart and soul of the Thatcher project,so the attack on Remploy represents the very essence of what this government is doing. Its no act of sympathy and charity to protect Remploy, its an act of utmost class solidarity that should inspire all trade unions to do more. If Remploy disappears another vital part of the post war welfare society and manufacturing disappear.

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