ATOS Unfit for 2014
From Local Glasgow News:-
January 24, 2013 by Grace Franklin
The protesters outside the building where they occupied Scottish Office premises for an hour.
Protesters invaded Scottish Government offices today in Glasgow to highlight their concerns that ATOS is a sponsor of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Said a spokesman for Citizens United Against Cuts to Public Services: ‘Across the country, hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people are being railroaded into abusive and degrading assessments to determine they are ‘fit for work’ by ATOS. The Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) has given this task to the profit-making French multinational company ATOS which is being paid more than £100 million a year to cut the number of people on benefits. We want ATOS removed from involvement in the Commonwealth Games.’
Another of the protesters said a member of his family worked as a carer for sick and disabled people. ‘They have witnessed ATOS tests and the effect it has on people. They are being assessed as suitable for work when they have to have 24 hour care. That’s why I’m here today. It is simply wrong what is happening.’
One protester who is a retired civil servant added: ‘There are serious issues around ATOS and the fact that they are able to access people’s health records which are supposed to be confidential. Also, until now, a doctor decides when a patient is fit to work again. Why should this French company decide this now? They are not doctors and don’t know the patient.’
A Scottish Office statement issued later said:
“The Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee appointed ATOS, the international IT services company and worldwide IT partner to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as their technology sponsor. Glasgow 2014 assesses commercial and sponsorship proposals on a number of criteria to ensure best value for the 2014 Games. Securing the right sponsors is vital to the success of the event.”
Around 15 protesters walked into Scottish Government offices in Highlander House, Waterloo Street on Thursday morning and stayed for about one hour making their protest with slogans and banners. After police attended, they left peaceably.
At the end of last year, the same group invaded the offices of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in Albion Street. At that time, a spokesman for the Games said: “We are very proud to have global IT experts Atos as part of Glasgow 2014’s sponsor family. As a worldwide IT partner for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the company has demonstrated unwavering commitment to driving forward the Paralympic movement by providing dedicated practical support to athletes for the last ten years.
“An important consideration for us is how a sponsor will contribute to the mission and ambitions of Glasgow 2014 and we are confident in the positive role Atos will play in helping us deliver an athlete centred and sports focused Commonwealth Games.”
When asked for a comment on Thursday’s invasion of the Glasgow Scottish Office premises, the Games spokeman re-issued the same statement.