11 February 2011
UNISON says fight goes on after Blindcraft closure
More than 200 years of emloyment opportunities
for people with disabilities has ended with the
closure of Blindcraft in Edinburgh. The City of
Edinburgh Lib Dem/SNP colation supported by the
Tories voted through closure plans at yesterday's
Labour councillors challenged the decision and
claimed the council had turned down a late £1m offer
for the firm from a third-sector organisation. UNISON
says it will be investigating the claim further.
"Staff at Blindcraft now face compulsory redundancy
with little prospect of employment either in the
council or elsewhere", said Kevin Duguid, UNISON
Edinburgh's lead negotiator
"UNISON will continue the fight to keep a
resource like this in Edinburgh".
"It marks a dark day in Scottish social history.
A cut of 40% in their wages, combined with a pay
freeze across the public sector, is untenable for
"In November we were told Blindcraft would move
to the economic development department and that
it would help the factory move forward and flourish.
We have seen no evidence of that. We have had no
meetings with economic development.
"The £700,000 saving is untenable. It is too much,
too quickly. We needed to stage the savings."
UNISON will now be investigating Labour's claims
and doing all in its power to maintain an employment
resource for disabled people in Edinburgh.