ALMOST 50 disabled workers could lose their jobs at a manufacturing firm, according to a union.

An independent report on the future of Remploy, which provides jobs for people with disabilities, has made a number of recommendations to help find disabled people work.

But the GMB union says that if implemented, it will mean there are no prospects of the 54 factories around the country surviving without public support.

The Blackburn factory, in Bank Top, employs 23 people, while the Burnley site, on Smallshaw Industrial Estate, has 28 workers.

The factories have already lost around half their workforce after a round of redundancies early in the year.

That led to a vote on strike action in protest by the union members, but didn’t stop the cuts.

The disabled workers at Blackburn make furniture, and the Burnley plant manufactures corrugated boxes.

A statement by the Minister for Disabilities Maria Miller said that she was attracted to the recommendations in the Sayce Report.

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary for Remploy, said: “If the minister goes ahead on the basis of Sayce, the 54 factories will close and 2,500 disabled workers will lose their jobs and go on the dole. The Sayce Report is full of aspirations and has very little substance.

“Most of the report refers to moving resources away from disbaled workers in manufacturing to find work for disabled people.

“The current employment in the 54 factories are real jobs making products for main line companies like Jaguar, Rover and supplying goods to the armed forces.

“GMB will staunchly defend these jobs and the communities they are in.”

Remploy declined to comment saying that the government was still in the middle of a consulation, due to end in October.