The “PCS is totally opposed to the Governements attepts to place the blame for cutbacks on it’s victims,’ explained Dave Owens who is on the PCS DWP executive. ‘We are committed to campaigning against welfare “reform”and the unjustified cuts in benefits levels.”
Atos is ‘a company whose sole motivation is sheer unadulterated greed and the costs of that are now plain for all to see,’ said Alex Davidson, the Vice Chair PCS North West
“The PCS opposed the privatisation of benefit administration to companies such as ATOS, our members in the DWP knew better than anyone what cruelty a profit driven company would wreak on vulnerable people. PCS stands for the renationalisation of all welfare and benefit functions that have been privatised by successive Tory and new labour governments.’
The “fit for work” assessments carried out by Atos on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions have meant that many of the most vulnerable people are suffering. In additions, disability rights groups have warned that the abolition of the Disability Living Allowance next year will result in increased financial hardship for disabled people, whilst the wealthiest in society, continue to increase their share of wealth as well as their personal income.
By deciding in advance that ‘too many’ disabled people are receiving help, the government have ensured that thousands of people who have medical conditions that require assistance will in future not receive it.
Awarding the contract for ‘health assessments’ to the multinational company ATOS has ensured the operation of a callous and flawed system that has led to great distress and to an increase in suicides. Last year more than 1000 people died following removal of benefits. A number of people awaiting heart surgery deemed “fit for work” have suffered heart attacks due to the stress of assessments.
Workers employed by Atos and the DWP, who themselves have faced declining living standards and worsening conditions, are forced to operate in a framework designed by the Tories to ensure that cuts and profit are put ahead of disabled people’s needs and rights. The jobs of these workers are being changed in a way that restricts their ability to help people in need.
We support the demand for an end to the Atos contract for medical assessments.
We believe that a system that delivers real support to disabled people is desperately needed.
National Union of Journalists, Manchester and Salford Branch
UNITE North West 55 Branch (Fujitsu NorthWest)
Alex Davidson, Vice Chair PCS North West
Steve North, Secretary, Salford Unison
Mark Norman, Secretary, UNITE NW/55 Branch
Ian Allinson, Unite National Executive member
John Johnston, Chair, Manchester TUC Pensioners
John Clegg, Chair of Manchester City Council Unite 6/159 Branch
Sara Livesy, Vice president Manchester Trades Council
Hilda Palmer, Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Stella Ridgway - NCC Member for Unite Finance and Legal Sector
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