Members of the GMB and Unite unions at 54 Remploy factories across the country have voted to strike against Tory plans to shut 36 of the sites.
Most Remploy workers are disabled and say they will be forced into unemployment if the factories close. Some 80 percent of GMB workers and 60 percent of Unite workers backed striking over the issue.
The unions say they will give notice “with immediate effect” for a programme of strikes and other industrial action at Remploy.
“To close a factory that employs disabled people in the present economic climate is a sentence to life of unemployment and poverty,” said GMB national secretary Phil Davies.
Unite national officer Kevin Hepworth added that by striking the workers “are trying to avoid their certain destiny of being chucked on the economic scrapheap”.
The plans to shut 36 Remploy factories would lead to compulsory redundancy for over 1,700 workers. There are longer term plans to shut all Remploy workplaces, which would see a total of 2,800 disabled workers lose their jobs.