The BBC are reporting that US company Maximus has won a £500 million contract to take over from Atos administering the despised Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
Maximus, who already have a contract running Iain Duncan Smith’s failing Work Programme, will now carry out the computer based assessments used to strip benefits from sick and disabled people by declaring them ‘fit for work’.
Atos claimed they pulled out of the WCA after staff were threatened. But this was a fucking lie. What happened to Atos was much more toxic. Regular and repeated protests were held outside Atos offices all around the UK, including their glitzy London headquarters. They were hounded off social media, whilst their corporate identity was repeatedly hijacked despite a string of petty legal threats. Other parts of their business were affected. The Co-operative bank were successfully lobbied to end their occupational health contract with Atos.
Everywhere Atos appeared they were hounded by disabled people and claimants determined to expose and disrupt them – and most of all cost them money. Their attemp at resurrecting their image by sponsoring the Paralympics turned into PR disaster as large and creative protests exposed this company’s true attitude towards sick and disabled people. Recruitment events were picketed and working for Atos beoame a badge of shame amongst healthcare professionals as the company grew increasingly despised.
These are the reasons why Atos abruptly ended their contract with the DWP. And now we need to do it all again.
Unlike when Atos began the WCA, Maximus know exactly what they are getting into. They know that these assessments have led to suicides, poverty and ill health. They just don’t care, because the DWP has stuffed their mouths with gold to rescue the hated assessments. All these bastards care about is money and so that is where to start.
The first step is gathering information. Every twitter feed, facebook page, subsidiary business and hidden scandal needs to be unearthed. We need to know where, and how they do business. And we need to make sure that people the world over know what this nasty company is about to do to sick and disabled claimants in the UK. Maximus will have done the sums and decided they can ride out any public outrage against their activities. Let’s surprise them.
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