May 242012

Stop ATOS! End Work Capability Assessments!

MCAC is working with Manchester Against Benefit cuts to organise a week of action against changes to disability living allowance and the role of ATOS in carrying out “evaluations” for fitness to work which have been linked to over 1000 deaths between August and January following loss to benefits (see press coverage below). Please support this action to highlight this scandal. More details of week of action to follow.

Details of week of action
31 May, 12pm: Protest march from Albert Square to ATOS “assessment” centre at Albert Bridge House

6 June, 7pm: Public Meeting at Friends’ Meeting House on building resistance against ATOS

9 June, 11am: Petition and stall, Market Street

Manchester Against Benefit Cuts Facebook page
Welfare cuts “linked to suicide”

There is “anecdotal evidence” of people committing suicide after losing their benefits following a reassessment, an MP has claimed.

A freedom of information request revealed that between January and August last year, 1,100 people had died after they lost their benefits.

Labour MP John McDonnell asked the Government to investigate whether there was a trend of people with mental health problems committing suicide after being ruled as fit for employment.

He said: “MPs across the House, and ministers, have emphasised the importance that care must be taken in dealing with people with mental health problems as they approach the medical and capability assessments, even if they lose benefits.

“There is some anecdotal evidence of suicides taking place of people who have lost benefits.

“Has the Government explored any of the coroners’ reports in these cases where there has been a reference to the loss of benefits as a contributory factor, and what lessons have been learnt?”

Speaking in the Commons, employment minister Chris Grayling replied: “We will always look very, very carefully indeed where something like that happens. So far my experience is that the story is much more complicated. But that does not mean we are not doing the right thing.

“I passionately believe that we should be helping (people), particularly those with mental health problems. I have met people who have been out of work for years and years and years with chronic depression who we are now beginning to help back into work.

“We have got to be very careful but we do look very carefully when those situations arise.”

Source: UK Press Association 23rd April 2012


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  4 Responses to “Week of Actions Against ATOS in Manchester”

  1. Good idea..I would encourage everyone to buy one share in all government private contracting companies and attend their AGM in force to express your views.The recent climb down to run slave programs at tescos came to a abrupt end when shareholder revolted and threatened to call an emergency meeting of directors for unethical trading and dismissal of the CEO.Since then tescos profits have dipped and shareholders have warned tescos not to get sucked into politics again.

  2. You are reminded that unethical trading or behavior in government is not allowed.It is becoming clear there is a clear connection between sue aside and cuts to disability benefits simply loss of everything with no opportunity or ability to work (as set out by employers and legislation) is of sufficient magnitude to cause death and accusations of corporate manslaughter.

    You are reminded if Atos is negligent it would be held legally responsible.Atos must comply with all legislation and trade ethically.It is not sufficient for ATOS to defend their actions by saying the DWP told me to do this.If they don’t comply it maybe they are trying to undertake processes without regard to legislation and if proved would be trading unethically. If this was indeed the case you may be able to challenge their contract with the government,challenge the remuneration committee at atos,examine the terms of incorporation at atos for registration as a UK plc,examine whether the directors are full and proper people to hold a directorship.and possibly contest their membership status at the institute of directors.For those who are active purchase a share at ATOS which gives you the right to attend their AGM meetings and lobby them face to face.

    Please note that anyone considering legal action should obtain their own independent legal advice before acting.

    The latest news is worrying as central government has terminated support for councils to supply advocacy services for those visually impaired or blind.The result is that blind or visually impaired people who require advocacy as of right can no longer gain access to benefits,legal,or medical services.Atos is currently been investigated for sending letters to blind and partially sighted people who they know would not be able to read them to trick them off DLA.You are reminded that councils or government departments must send correspondence in an accessible format, in many cases blind people must insist on appointment of an advocate to comply with article 6 3 of the human rights act where they are not able to understand or comply with requests due to severe disability.

    If you are one of these people please find a way of copying this letter and sending it directly with a statutory notice to IDS at the house of commons as he been held directly responsible for this abuse.It is understood the RNIB is looking into this.

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