National week of action against Atos: Liverpool

On Monday 9th May, Liverpool Solidarity Federation organised a picket of the offices of Atos Origin. This was as part of a national week of action against the company, being paid millions by the government to throw disabled people off benefits.

Atos's contact with the DWP to carry out "work capability assessments" is worth £300 million. Their system has previously provoked concern from the very doctors who carry them out, and over 8,000 appeals are heard every month for Employment and Support Allowance alone. Three people have even died as a result of having their support removed, and at the time of their death still awaiting the results of their appeal.

National week of action against ATOS: Brighton

This morning we got together with local benefits campaigners to picket ATOS Healthcare, the private company paid millions by the government to force people off sickness benefits by reclassifying them as 'fit for work'. They do this by using an automated system to over-ride the judgement human doctors, as part of the wider attacks on claimants and workers, which began under Labour and are currently being accellerated by the coalition government. Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed to passers-by, many of whom stopped to share experiences of friends and loved ones who've had their benefits cut arbitrarily.

ATOS Healthcare: Poverty pimps putting profit before the welfare of people with disabilities

The 3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts

As part of the the 3rd National Day of Protest against Benefit Cuts West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation organized a picket of the ATOS Origin regional headquarters (who carry out medicals for the DWP) followed by a picket of A4e and Best who get paid for getting people into low paid employment.

About 20 people turned up including WYSF, AF, SWP and a guy who’d come from Manchester despite having walking difficulties. 

Outside ATOS there was a noisy presence and a “photo opportunity”, where a professional photographer took various photo’s, don’t know where these ended up.

Following this we headed off to A4e/Best.  Along the way we lost the SWP who disappeared and never turned up at A4e/Best.

National day of action against benefits cuts in Brighton

Members of Brighton SolFed supported a 20-30 strong protest and picket at ATOS healthcare in Brighton today as part of a national day of action against benefits cuts. The protest was organised by the Brighton Benefits Campaign (BBC), a group of claimants and workers fighting the cuts to welfare provision. ATOS is a private company paid millions of pounds to stop sick and disabled peoples benefits by declaring them 'fit to work' via a computer programme, which has given absurd diagnoses such as describing hand amputations as 'mild' and thus no barrier to work.

National day of action against benefit cuts in Liverpool

Today, as part of a national day of protest against benefit cuts, Liverpool Solidarity Federation picketed the offices of ATOS origin in the city centre. We were supported in our action by members of UK Uncut Liverpool.

We were there to raise awareness of the role being played by ATOS in the government's war against disabled people.

The company is being paid £300 million by the government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’. The assessments are supposedly aimed at finding out if people receiving sickness benefits are fit to work. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible and save the government money.

National Day of Action against benefit cuts

ATOS offices in Leeds close for the day!! On the 24th January as part of the National Day of Action against benefit cuts, WYSF, Black Triangle and claimants picketed ATOS and A4e. Staff at ATOS where told not to go into work, so it was a success. Outside ATOS leaflets where given to other workers with a generally positive.  We then moved to A4e, which coincidently is next door to BEST (another pathways provider).  Many leaflets where distributed to the public and to many claimants leaving both A4e & BEST, again a very positive response. A successfull day! 

News in brief

Cleaners win
The Living Wage Campaign at University College London (UCL) has claimed victory after the university agreed to pay cleaners the London Living Wage. The living wage is meant to be introduced over the next two years. The UCL Living Wage Campaign was formed two years ago and is an alliance of cleaners, students, academics, and staff.

For years London universities have been paying low wages to their cleaners. To date, thanks to pressure from various groups and campaigns, all London universities except University College London have been forced to pay their cleaners above the minimum wage and raise pay to at least the London Living Wage. The Campaign at UCL has vowed not to disband until the London Living Wage is fully implemented and all low-paid staff are well organised.

Housing benefits cuts spark poverty fears

The media keep running stories about benefit fraudsters living it up, paving the way for drastic changes to the benefits system. Catalyst spoke to one of the supposed benefit scroungers to find out what it’s really like to live on benefits.

Since finishing a postgraduate course, Teresa has been looking for a job in Brighton. “I have been applying for at least 4 to 5 jobs a week for the past 4 months but did not get any job. Often I have been told I am overqualified for the positions and even though I tried to impress on them that I would like to work – I was told that they can get someone less qualified to do the work on minimum wages.”

Housing benefits slashed – we talk to a claimant

The media keep running stories about benefit fraudsters living it up no doubt in preparation for drastic changes to the benefits system. Brighton SolFed spoke to one of the supposed benefit scroungers to find out what it’s really like to live on benefits.

Since finishing a postgraduate course, Teresa has been looking for a job in Brighton. “I have been applying for at least 4 to 5 jobs a week for the past 4 months but did not get any job. Often I have been told I am overqualified for the positions and even though I tried to impress on them that I would like to work – I was told that they can get someone less qualified to do the work on minimum wages.”