An email I have received from one of the Remploy workers/trade unionists:
Your article Remploy on strike
July 20th, 2012 · No Comments
Is one I wish to bitterly dispute.
I am a Remploy employee at Remploy Spennymoor in Co Durham and have worked there for the last 34 years. I am also a Union branch secretary for Remploy disabled employees and an elected member trustee on the Remploy pension scheme as well as being a national negotiating delegate for the Trade Union consortium. All of these roles mean I have regularly met with senior management and the board of directors as well as having access to financial information over the years.
So let me explain.
This is only an accusation thrown out by the minister who is only repeating what she is being advised is a suitable political argument to close Remploy.
The correct interpretation is this.
This cost is derived by dividing the subsidy provided to the Board of directors to run Remploy by the number of employees it employees.
I would put it to you that the way to manipulate these figures to arrive at a high cost which you mention as being 25,000 per disabled employee is this.#
Since overheads generally go up each year the cost of running factories like any other business also goes up. However if you reduce the number of workers in either the company or a factory the cost per person goes up accordingly.
Let me give you an example. Since 2008 we have had 2 rounds of voluntary redundancies which has slashed our workforce from over 5,000 to under 1500. In my own factory in 2008 50% of them went in 2008 under voluntary redundancy. (just 5 people have found a job since by the way )
Of course the cost per person has gone up. As I said in my factory the cost per person doubled because of this situation which is now used to beat us over the head with verbally by the minister Maria Miller.
But it does not mean that the actual cost to the taxpayer of employing a disabled person has gone up. This is a paper exercise weighted to manipulate cost per person.
(I myself know a number of factories who got their own costs down to a level approaching only £10,000 per person. Despite the government wanting factories to fail)
So how can this be?
By having a structure of over 500 managers including highly paid senor managers and directors which equates to 1 manager for every 3 people in a factory( plus expense accounts) which is also part of the subsidy given by the government. Meaning this 25,000 also includes their costs not just that of a disabled worker.
You also need to add this in also. Remploy created a central costs dept.
Basically what this meant a lot of money was being paid to them by ever factory. For example did you realise that to have a computer on site it cost the factory over £100 per week. Where can you get a computer, which are now ancient by the way, for £100 per week?
An email account costs £100.
If your factory had its workforce slashed and despite increasing productivity by 12% in 12 months you were to find yourself in a similar situation where jobs were turned away as being to costly and only low paying jobs were taken on, in addition tot these costs you would find yourself in the same situation as remploy factory workers.
We all feel utterly angry and bitterly insulted by this political argument to justify our closure. Disabled workers tend to earn just over £200 per week to take home. Its not even £14,000 per year. If we were given the opportunity to make money in the factories then the cost per person would soon go down and the profit could be used to employ more disabled people and invest in factories.
That does not happen because this government wants factories to fail. Because its an easy way of attacking the pubic sector.
Same argument is used to turn people against each other that private sector = good
public sector = bad.
Check it out where you can, when you can, but I would hope you remove that 25,000 bit.
GMB TU Consortium Delegate for Remploy (North East)
The truth or not of any of this I have no idea. But good to have both sides, eh?
And if the above is true then there\’s certainly some of that old \”as we\’re subsidised we\’re horribly inefficient\” isn\’t there?
And finally: what possible justification is there for a £25,000 a year subsidy to produce £14,000 a year wages?
Finally finally, aren\’t the unions getting better at this online response stuff?