28 July 2012
UPDATED: 3 August
Low-paid PCS members who work for Atos Healthcare and Atos IT Services are set to strike over pay, and could hit the Olympic sponsor company during the games.
Atos is a private sector firm with a host of government contracts. Atos Healthcare operates the DWP’s controversial ‘work capability’ tests for disabled people claiming benefits – a scheme that is about to come under official review.
It has just been announced that Atos has won £400m of new contracts to carry out the disability benefit checks that have sparked protests by disability campaigners.
Atos’s IT Services wing holds a number of government contracts including technical support to BBC production staff and TV presenters.
More than 1,500 PCS union members at Atos Healthcare and Atos IT Services have voted by 77% and 71% respectively for strikes over pay.
Atos is refusing to offer pay rises in line with inflation or to commit to becoming a ‘living wage’ employer – which would only mean paying staff £7.20 an hour, or £8.30 an hour in London – despite boasting of growing profits in its half-yearly results yesterday.
PCS strike round-up
Meanwhile PCS members at the National Gallery in London staged a successful two-hour walkout over staffing cuts yesterday (see picture).
And workers at the UK’s 39 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices threatened with closure joined other Department for Transport colleagues in a three-hour walkout yesterday, in dispute over cuts.
The PCS Midlands DVLA branch said there was ‘strong support’ for the action taking place betweem 2pm and 5pm. Seven offices were closed, including those in Bangor, Birmingham, Chester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Peterborough and Shrewsbury.
Pic: thanks to Lost Arts