Co-Op ~ Cancel The Atos Contract! Glasgow Picket Report

 

SATURDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2012

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Anti-Co-Op/Atos Contract picket outside the Co-Op Bank and the end of the picket at the Co-Op supermarket. The placards say, ‘The Co-operative not-so-good for everyone’.
 
On Thursday 22nd a dozen people, including members of benefit claimants’ groups Black Triangle and the Crutch Collective, Clydeside Industrial Workers Of The World, Glasgow Anarchist Federation, Glasgow Solidarity Federation as well as other individuals took part in the hour long picket of the Co-Op Bank and supermarket on the same street in central Glasgow.
 
We gave out leaflets to Co-Op customers and the hundreds of people going pass on their way home from work.
 
The leaflet highlighted the Co-Op’s four year occupational health contract with Atos. Atos continue to make huge profits by continuing to assess most sick and disabled benefit claimants as fit for work, ignoring contrary medical evidence, to comply with Government targets for benefit cuts.
 
The cuts are being imposed to make the poor pay again for the latest crisis in capitalism caused by the rich. We asked people to contact the Co-Op to tell the company, that sells itself as ethical, that they will be losing their custom until they cancel their contract with Atos.
 
Most interest came from older women who perhaps know from experience what the Co-Op is really about. Maybe they know the reality of the Co-Op’s claim that they have always been ethical, because they have always provided affordable prices to those in need.
 
In past generations the Co-Op mostly employed women. Their exploitative employment practices are still the same as any other business.
 
Historically the Co-Op has played a significant role in the daily lives of many working class people. But it’s contribution to working class emancipation has been marginal at best and at worst has added to illusion that such an aim can be achieved within the capitalist system.
 
Like any other business it is open to the pressures that come with the fluctuations of the marketplace and has made workers redundant when the markets are down.
 
Like any other bosses the Co-Op management have made older workers redundant, using the excuse that they would be incapable of coping with the introduction of new technology, that was never introduced, because managers had nothing better to do than manage workers like cogs in a machine.
 
Co-Op management tried to placate us with more empty words about ethics, rather than taking action against Atos.
 
They have refused to rule out Atos from the bidding process for their new occupational contract, that starts next year, despite the unethical behaviour of Atos being well documented.
 
If the Co-Op were interested in ethics they would have already publicly rejected an Atos bid.
 
Their decision on who to award the new contract to will be based primarily on cheapness even though the profitable Co-Op do not have to do this out of economic necessity.
 
Atos and the police have been monitoring anti-Atos activity to try to manage dissent towards ineffectiveness.
 
Now the Co-Op are up to it as well to help their Atos partners.
 
The communications from Co-Op management, the hiring of extra security staff and the ludicrous number of police present for the picket show that the Co-Op are extremely worried about their ethical image, no matter how fake, even from the dent that can be caused to it by a relatively small group and one action.
 
We must be doing something right.
 
Just imagine what actions against the Atos contract by larger groups in more that one place could do.
 
Claimants Resisting Unfair Treatment Cuts and Harassment
 
 
 
Comments
  • Humanity2012 November 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    The Right Inspiration Protest but on a More Massive Scale the More Effective

  • Robert McCormick November 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Disgusted at the CO-OP for even considering Atos
    Been ill for over 26 years now
    Can’t believe so many people are sitting back watching the Cull of the disabled
    Never thought I’d see such a regressive , barbaric , inhumane UK Govt inflict these cuts on the sick & disabled & more
    Please Let me know what I can do to help
    unfortunately don’t get out much nowadays cause of my own health problems

  • Roger Jenkins November 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    There is no logical reason why the Co-op should drop Atos, although there may be lots of idealistic reasons. The Co-op will have wanted an occupational health programme to improve its employee’s situation – of course, this will be intended to improve attendance and productivity, but it will also improve employee morale and staff will feel more cared-for. So there is nothing wrong with occupational health. Next, the Co-op will have looked at the providers, and chosen the one who provides the best combination of quality, service and price. And they chose Atos. Again, nothing wrong with this. Lots of you may find this unpalatable, but the likelihod is that, no matter what we think of the DWP and ESA, Atos is a very large and reputable occupational health company. Look at its website, it employs more doctors and health professionals than any other organisation other than the NHS

  • Annie November 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Roger Jenkins: AtoS – REPUTABLE? ….. “it employs more doctors and health professionals than any other organisation other than the NHS” – and by saying that are you implying that is good, ethical, honest? Clearly the fact that AtoS and DWP have deliberately killed and made life a misery for many thousands matters nothing to you.
    Disgusting indifvidual!

  • jay November 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Roger Jenkins,

    I take it you are not ill or disabled and have not been through a WCA. If as you say Atos are a large reputable ‘health’ company then perhaps you would like to explain why Atos employees feel the need to lie in their reports. Yes, lie I have the proof and so do many others that have been through the dehumanising experience.
    Lying for a benefit claimant is considered fraud, yet those that assess us are doing that very thing. Why do you think the assessments are not recorded?

    Atos have nothing to do with health, a similar sounding word wealth, yes on the back of the UK taxpayer.

    Atos improve employee morale and staff will feel more cared-for. Ha Ha that’s the best laugh I’ve had here, God knows there isn’t much to laugh at if you are in the situation I and many others are in.

    Do you wonder what you would do if your benefit is stopped or worry about being thrown out on the street because the rent hasn’t been paid.

    Lucky for you that you can visit here and pontificate about something you know little about or certainly have little or no empathy with people who are suffering real hardship.

    I never chose to be ill no one here did. Yet we are lectured by millionaires and unelected Lord Haw Haw about what is good for us.
    Work kills those that are ill and not fit for it, that is a fact.

    Take your head out of the sand and wake up and see what is going on. Perhaps you would rather believe government and media propoganda.

    This is the worst government in five decades that I’ve ever had the misfortune to live under. Since when was it the government’s job to bully and threaten the most vulnerable in society. And for what to make big business ever richer!

    This recession was caused by the grabbing hands of the greedy and rich.
    Time they paid.

    NHS consultants and GP’s care about their patients health, they are completely dedicated honest professionals.

    Atos are just money grabbing maggots.

  • leonc1963 November 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    None of this surprises me they are the least ethical company ever, I banked with the Co-op and over the years had 9 loans with them and on every occasion was sold payment protection insurance despite them knowing I was a stroke survivor and thus would not be able to claim if it ever arose because previous medical conditions were excluded.

    It took me a battle of 3.5 years to get redress for the suffering they caused because despite them holding onto £9.5k of my money they also harassed and hounded me to repay a loan I had that I could not afford to pay due to taking early retirement on health grounds there was no need for any of the threats or harassment because they was holding enough money to repay this debt in full with money over.

    I will never forgive this company for the suffering they caused to me and my family.

    They are no different to any other bank and are the cause of the suffering this Govt is imposing on the ill and disabled.

  • slashlover November 30, 2012 at 1:28 am

    “Like any other bosses the Co-Op management have made older workers redundant, using the excuse that they would be incapable of coping with the introduction of new technology, that was never introduced, because managers had nothing better to do than manage workers like cogs in a machine.”

    Well that’s blatantly a lie. Where did this little fact come from?

    I’d also like to point out that the same person assessed by ATOS was deemed fit by the government but unfit be the Co-op as they work to completely different criteria.

    “They have refused to rule out Atos from the bidding process for their new occupational contract, that starts next year, despite the unethical behaviour of Atos being well documented.”

    Don’t think they can stop Atos bidding, they can choose not to accept it though. And, really, for all you know they may have decided not to choose Atos but just chosed not to inform a lot of people who are holding them hostage and harassing innocent staff and customers?

  • Annie November 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Thankfully individuals such as Roger are in the minority. The lies they dish out, which are not based on fact, will come back and cause harm to them. Each lie makes them weaker. Truth makes us stronger, lies weaken us, so Roger you see which road you have chosen.

    Thank goodness for the majority of good people. We will win.

  • jefflph December 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    roger,another ass hole that no knothin like lord this and sir that,no nothing then tell us what they are going to do and it never seems to affect them,you know camroon claiming welfare but having 5 million in the bank,what a ponce..jeff..

  • Aletheia December 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

    well done all who were involved in the protests:)

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