US based multinational Maximus could be set to expand their monopoly over the lives of sick and disabled people by buying up what’s left of soon to be privatised Remploy. This brazen move is sure to inflame anger against the company who are already facing protests after winning the contract to take over running the despised Work Capability Assessment from Atos.
Shortly after the government embarked on the cruel and vindictive closure of the Remploy factories, parts of the organisation were hived off and turned into a sort of state run welfare-to-work company. Then last year it was announced this would be sold off to the private sector under an initiative bizarrely called Project Jupiter.
Just two companies have submitted bids to buy Remploy, Maximus and Prospects. Both of these companies are already involved in the welfare-to-work sector and the Remploy deal comes with a big juicy DWP contract to run the Work Choice scheme, alongside contracts to run parts of the Work Programme and the Access To Work scheme for disabled workers. In other words they buy Remploy and the DWP spends the next few years giving them their money back.
Maximus have even produced a cringe-making youtube video (comments currently open) for the staff at Remploy with sinister Chief Executive Richard Montoni and his glassy-eyed corporate lacky Bruce Caswell spinning away the crimes of these profit hungry vultures. Do not belive the fucking hype. Richard Montoni earns a staggering $5 million a year to spout this shit. In the US Maximus have faced both protests and law suits as they have gobbled up ever more public services, including contracts to disqualify people from free healthcare. In Saudi Arabia they quite happily operate a gender segregated workforce, with ‘male candidates preferred‘ for some roles despite their claim to be equal opportunity employers. In the UK they are already heavily involved in workfare and the harrowing benefit sanctions regime which has been linked to a growing number of suicides.
Should Maximus be successful in buying Remploy then their power over sick and disabled people’s lives will be chilling and unprecedented. Disabled people who needs funding for adjustments at work through Access To Work will be assessed by Maximus. People who need to take time off due to sickness or disability will soon have their absence acredited by Maximus, not their GP, as part of their Fit For Work contract. If someone has to leave work because of a health condition then it will be a Maximus run Work Capability Assessment which decides whether they are eligible for sickness and disability benefits. If they are found fit for work, or even possibly able to work in the future, then, depending on where they live they may be sent on the Work Programme. With Maximus. If unemployed disabled people want to join the so far voluntary Work Choice scheme then they will be sent to Maximus. These bastards need to be stopped.
In the meantime please spread the word about the Day of Action Against Maximus set to take place on the 2nd March. Please tweet, share, blog and post everywhere: http://dpac.uk.net/2015/01/maximus-day-of-action-2nd-of-march-list-of-events-around-the-uk-scrapwca/
Above pic from: https://www.facebook.com/PhillEvansIllustration
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