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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 Council meeting.

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 many people.

"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.

ENDS

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