Community Union members, local politicians and workers have launched a campaign to Save Ayresome Industries from closure as part of the latest round of budget cuts recently announced by Independent Mayor, Ray Mallon.
Ayresome Industries in Middlesbrough provides employment for 37 disabled workers making window units, industrial brushes and handling confidential waste.
Labour MP for Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, and Labour & Co-operative candidate for Redcar, Anna Turley, are supporting the ‘Save Ayresome Industries’ campaign organised by Community Union who represent many of the workers there.
“This is an important campaign that needs as much support as possible. Mayor Mallon needs to be shown how important Ayresome Industries is as it provides work for disabled workers allowing them to earn a living, gain confidence and independence. Specialist disability employment is vital and in the North East alone 67% of disabled people at working age are either unemployed or inactive. The closure of Ayresome Industries would only add to this figure as it will prove extremely difficult for workers to find any work in an area with such high unemployment, never mind suitable work for their particular requirements and skillset.
Ayresome Industries employee and Community Union member, Craig Harvey said:
“Everybody in there is annoyed about it. We’ve got men in there who’ve got disabilities but they are still very, very good workers – some are even speed workers. We’ve got one man who works there who is deaf, partially sighted, in his 50s, but he’s very fast at making the brushes.”
“The workers of Ayresome have the right to work and the right to their dignity. While this Tory and Lib Dem government is slashing local government budgets, and hitting Teesside the hardest, the Mayor still has a responsibility to stand up for the most vulnerable people and support opportunities for them to earn their living. His decision to cut the support for Ayresome is condemning people to dependency and benefits. I urge him to reconsider and find the savings from elsewhere within the council.”