Atos workers vote for industrial action


You know things have come to a pretty pass when the government’s own hit squad plans to strike against low pay.

It seems Atos workers who are members of the PCS union have voted for industrial action after they rejected below-inflation and conditional pay offers from their employer.

This is the company that is under contract to receive £1.6 billion from the UK government, to carry out the hated Work Capability Assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions, mark you.

According to PCS, members working for Atos IT Services and in Atos Healthcare voted to support strike action by a proportion of more than 80 per cent. More than 90 per cent supported action short of a strike.

A union spokesperson said: “As we demonstrated in 2012, members have shown they are prepared to support their elected representatives and defend their interests. Atos should be under no illusions that we are prepared to take action.”

If you’re like me, you don’t know they demonstrated anything at all in 2012 – but I have unearthed a previous press release from PCS that mysteriously doesn’t seem to have made it into the news.

It states that PCS members working for Atos were going to take action over pay on August 13 this year but suspended the action at the 11th hour when Atos made an improved offer.

This involved the immediate payment of the Living Wage (Labour must have been happy at that) to all PCS members with more than three months’ service; a two per cent pay uplift for members who already received more than the Living Wage in April this year; a £320 “non-consolidated payment” to all Atos IT Services staff and a £3100 “non-consolidated payment” to Atos Healthcare staff; a new pay process (for PCS members only – presumably other Atos staff could go whistle) in Healthcare and IT Services; a PCS and Atos working party to develop a more transparent appraisal system; and development of a joint PCS and Atos plan to promote “respect, dignity and fair treatment for all workers”.

This indicates that Atos workers receive a very low wage for what they do. You may find this surprising, considering the size of the contracts awarded by the Coalition government; in 2011-12 Atos received £112.4 million to carry out 738,000 assessments. That comes out at £152.30 per hour-long assessment.

If this money is not going to the so-called ‘medical professionals’ who carry out the assessments or their support staff, it could go a long way towards explaining how Atos boss Thierry Breton managed to bump up his pay package by £280,000 to £2,329,250 this year.

It also shows that the ministers at the DWP (after this blog was upbraided for insulting gutter vermin with a previous comparison, let’s call them pond scum this time around) and their allies at Atos, including Mr Breton, seem to have no problem with treating their own staff almost as badly as they treat claimants of sickness and disability benefits.

The DWP, in partnership with Atos: Making Work Pay Less.


  1. joshuachristian19691 October 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on THE SIEGE OF BRITAIN and commented:
    You couldn’t make this up, could you. Absolute classic!

  2. […] You know things have come to a pretty pass when the government's own hit squad plans to strike against low pay. It seems Atos workers who are members of the PCS union have voted for industrial acti…  […]

  3. Peter October 19, 2013 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Can’t see there being much public support for the ATOSER workers. Let them strike. I for one wont be backing them.

    • Mike Sivier October 19, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Well, of course!
      The joy of this one lies in the fact that even workers at Atos are being victimised by their bosses and the government, to the point of going on strike. It’s comedy gold, as the person who shared the information with me earlier this evening pointed out.

  4. derek evans October 19, 2013 at 12:24 am - Reply

    You Make me feel sick ATOS you don’t deserve any pay only prison for the people that have died because of you lot do you realy think the people of this country agree with you wanting more money well you’r a bloody joke you murder’s.

  5. jed goodright October 19, 2013 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Here’s a link to the news on SkyTv today

    Atos manager claims his staff living in fear of people attending interviews for ESA/WCA – hasn’t anyone seen this????

  6. Richard Tedeschi October 19, 2013 at 6:22 am - Reply

    The world works backward for most people… once there were wars for money and power with knives guns and bombs, today the same wars are done with laws, the ones with knives guns and bombs are done to benefit the arms industry.

    We are ruled by troglodyte apes and criminals who should all be in jail for life, yet we can’t even sack them for real and for justice or we’ll be the ones in jail.

  7. […] You know things have come to a pretty pass when the government's own hit squad plans to strike against low pay. It seems Atos workers who are members of the PCS union have voted for industrial acti…  […]

  8. Karen Barbara Barclay October 19, 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply

    pay increases for murderers ???

  9. Editor October 19, 2013 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on kickingthecat.

  10. […] Atos workers vote for industrial action. […]

  11. jaypot2012 October 19, 2013 at 9:24 am - Reply

    This is the perfect time for the government to actually get rid of this company and cancel their contract. Other countries around the world have gotten rid of them, including the government greatest friends, the USA.
    The government know damn well that the people of this country are appalled by what is happening due to the WCA and Atos and the truth is coming out about them, and people who at first believed it would be a good thing to get rid of “fraudsters” are now aghast at the truth as many of their families and friends are affected.
    The government have a chance here but have they got the balls to do it?
    Probably not…

    • jed goodright October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      They don’t have the balls but more importantly, they don’t have the wit

  12. David Treasurer October 19, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

    This convinced me even more that Atos should be ditched immediately by the DWP.
    If the DWP have to do work capability assessments then get them done by the NHS, do realistic assessments, not torturing terminally ill people with the system, for example. Also not doing assessments that have to go to appeal, get it right 1st. time.
    Pay the NHS for doing the assessments, thereby keeping the money in this country, and collecting taxes from all those working in the system, putting money into the NHS and not paying the boss of Atos over £2.3 million.

    • jed goodright October 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      David, it’s not really about ‘fitness for work’ it’s about withdrawing money from the vulnerable as part of dismantling the welfare state. Anyone on benefits in the country is assessed as part of the claim anyway. This is a rous set up by labour and murderously continued by the tories

  13. Derek Evans October 19, 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply

    The best of it is the NAZI government will give them what they want so they can carry on with there genocide of the sick & needy of our once great country if your not healthy your DEAD Hitler did this only if you didn’t have blond hair & blue eyes it’s just the same so yes i can see them getting what they wan’t.

  14. jeffrey davies October 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    yes I had seen they were going on strike and had called it off but the staff working behind the lines do they really know what’s happening to thousands every week by atos’ hands they must type out these reports and some with a half a brain must see it’s not right but then they say wages well the boss gets this but where does the rest go I keep asking this where’s the rest going millions where are they going as it’s not shown how are our ex mps who set this up getting rich so fast why isn’t there a person out there following this trail of money that’s left as we know our ministers have got fingers in most pies jeff3

  15. Joe Smith October 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Hollow laughter rang out, now the worm infested Atos B…..ds are finding out how it feels, hope you starve. Especially the lying corrupt Dr Glassby.
    If anyone here thinks the Fascist Ian Duncan Smith will soften in any way or the Riechmaster Cameron will do anything, you need more water with it. They can’t back down getit? We have to get rid of them.

    • Derek Evans October 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      well said Joe your so right.

    • ghost whistler October 23, 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Just goes to show how the Tories will dump on anyone. Theres no honour among thieves!

  16. AM-FM October 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    If most of their workers are/were on less than a living wage, then most of their workers must be claiming benefits themselves!
    As#1; You couldn’t make this up, could you.

  17. Thomas October 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    The longer the strike goes on the better. Whilst they are on strike they can’t take my benefits away and make me depend on my savings and then my parents.

    • Mike Sivier October 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      It depends what they do, though. At the moment they’ve only agreed ‘industrial action’ so we’ll have to see how disruptive they’re prepared to be.

  18. Jim October 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Good god when will the government learn that they are actually being ripped off — another joker card. I strongly suspect any savings are being wiped out by the cost of this exercise.

  19. nearlydead October 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on nearlydead.

  20. thepositivevoice October 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on thepositivevoice.

  21. Stephen Bee October 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Maybe future pickets at ATOS offices can be timed for the same day as the industrial action and we should go to the nearest centre and shout ‘skivers’ at them and ‘get a job’…give them a taste of their own medicine :-)

    • Derek Evans October 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      They shouldn’t get any pay only prison for the people who have died end of.

      • buskrat November 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm - Reply

        banish them all to france

  22. buskrat November 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Let the evil scum starve ftr all thats what they do to the sick, because of them I was left with nothing for over 5 months during last xmas and the coldest winter since 1962, even now I am still waiting for my appeal to be heard. And lets not forget the 10,000 plus people they have killed with their cruel policies. DWP boss IDS claimed £39 for one breakfast, after deductions I live on less than that for the entire week, and know I am not alone, I would love to be able to work I would also love to be able to stand long enough to wash a sinkfull of pots. Curse be upon this evil private company.

  23. buskrat November 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Further to my previous post I feel I should add that I would nomaly support workers that take action with good cause although I cannot support atos in any way whatsoever. When I workd for the railways our average pay rise was 2% for many years the highest I ever heard of was 4% shortly after I left. (by the way ftr should have read “after” it was a minor typo)
    On another note my atos report was fabricated in part and refered to an event during the wca that did not take place, I have reported this to DWP and parliament and await their responce. This frightfull company cannot be trusted with the welfare of the sick and disabled.

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