Disabled pensions blow

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Disabled workers at a Preston factory are at risk of losing their pension, according to a trade union leader.

Kevin Hepworth, regional officer for the Unite union, said staff at Remploy’s electrical waste recycling site on the Roman Way Industrial Estate risk losing their pension if they transfer to a private employer.

It is one of 54 factories across the country at risk of being axed or sold off.

Mr Hepworth said the Department of Work and Pensions had decided any firm taking over a Remploy business will not to honour the Fair Deal pensions legislation which ensures that a pension of similar value has to be provided.

Hesaid: “This is a bombshell for those workers at Remploy factories that will be sold off.

“This is a cruel blow, hacking away at the retirement incomes of workers with disabilities.

“First of all, their pensions will be attacked and then it will be the pay, and terms and conditions – this is the hard reality of this government’s actions.”

GMB national secretary Phil Davies added that it was talking to Remploy staff about a further round of industrial action following a pair of 24-hour walk-outs recently.

The Preston factory employs 18 people including 16 disabled staff.

A Remploy spokesman said it would offer package of support to any worker leaving the company, including supporting them in finding new jobs.