Shocking surprise - ATOS profits dont drip down to their staff!

We're seeing more and more civil service jobs being farmed out to private companies whose staff get less training, pay, and  pensions while being offered poorer working conditions than the public sector. According the Atos Origin annual report for 2009 the company raked in revenue worth €5,127 Billion. This includes ‘solid growth’ across their public sector contracts which saw a revenue increase of 9% “mainly in the UK”. Last year Atos Origin’s profits rose by 8.75% to 196 Million Euros thanks to “a strong performance by its UK operations” . At the same time, Atos Healthcare has refused to meet a  pay award for its own staff, some of whom earn less than £13,000 a year. Meanwhile  the Atos CEO, Thierry Breton, enjoyed a salary of €276,846 and ‘stock options’ of €700,000.

BoS Demonstrators Protest Unlawful Arrest Of Bank Account Funds

EDINBURGH, 9TH JUNE - PEOPLE gathered yesterday at the Bank of Scotland's Earl Grey Street branch, Tollcross, Edinburgh, to protest the unjust and unlawful arrestment of more than £700 in bank account funds from an account held by Edinburgh resident Jaime. The arrestment was carried out by Stirling Park Sherriff Officer's acting on behalf of Edinburgh 'cowboy' landlord and car dealer Mark Fortune.

Demonstrators Gather outside the Bank of Scotland, Earl Grey Street
Demonstrators Gather outside the Bank of Scotland, Earl Grey Street

Police arrive and question the protesters
Police arrive and question the protesters

One protester enjoys the scottish sun and the chirp-chirp of the summer police
One protester enjoys the scottish sun and the chirp-chirp of the summer police

BoS customers and passers-by exchange leaflets
BoS customers and passers-by exchange leaflets


Changes coming into force from April 2011

The Government has introduced rules which make the changes listed below - the intention is to save £2 billion. They have used their media to push the lie that Housing Benefit is a disincentive to finding work. London figures show that 87% of claimants of Housing Benefit are in work! The Housing Benefit costs are in reality a reflection of just how feather-bedded landlords are and how miserable wages are for millions of workers.

Maximum size of a dwelling which can be paid for by housing benefit capped at 4 bedrooms LHA rates payable for each category of property capped to the following wherever the property is situated in the country:

Unemployed win against A4e bullies

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP) have won a significant victory for the unemployed in the war against New Deal provider A4e, thanks to the courageous stand taken by one brave unemployed ex-miner, who despite threats and benefit suspension stood up to A4e for over a year!   

ATOS hit by protests UK-wide

 CUTTING DISABILITY BENEFITS KILLS – was the message being sent by protestors gathered outside the ATOS Edinburgh testing centre in York Place on 14th April, for the Day of Action Against Benefits Cuts.  Like many groups round the UK we were there to show our opposition to the brutal attack on people who are sick and disabled that is being carried out by ATOS on behalf of the government.

Does ATOS kill?

Demonstrators converged on the Scottish HQ of ATOS Origin in Livingston near Edinburgh on 24 January. This profit-orientated company is contracted by the government to carry out benefits medical assessments on people with disabilities and illnesses.  In other words, they do the government's dirty work of axing support which is needed by some of the most vulnerable in our society.


Around 40 protestors made it to the bleak business park on the outskirts of Livingston that houses ATOS – a reasonable turn-out on a freezing January morning. Despite a massive police presence demonstrators took over the roadway leading into ATOS and blockaded a car that attempted to enter. The police waded in, manhandling demonstrators with disabilities.

A4e office invaded : "Unemployed have the right to choose our own representatives"

Supporters of Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty invaded a4e’s Edinburgh office on 15 November to distribute leaflets urging the unemployed people attending the Flexible New Deal provider to stand up for their rights.  The action - organised as part of the Britain-wide Day of Action against Welfare Cuts – was in resistance to A4e’s refusal to recognise Edinburgh Claimants representatives and to the whole workfare system.  These compulsory work-for-your-benefits schemes are set to be intensified by the ConDem's "Work Programme".

Claimants and Students join together to resist cuts

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty organised a demo on 24th November against benefit cuts and workfare and in solidarity with the students UK-wide Day of Action against education cuts. After assembling at High Riggs Job Centre and demonstrating at slave labour provider A4e, the 30-strong ECAP contingent joined the student march to the LibDems office at Haymarket, Edinburgh.

The students have now occupied Edinburgh University's Appleton Tower at George Square and a speaker from ECAP spoke at the rally outside the occupied building at mid-day on 25th November, emphasising the need to link up all the struggles against all the different cuts. He gave the local examples of the unemployed's struggle against A4e, who are denying claimants representation, the Council refuse collecters, who are resisting wage cuts, and the parents, carers and workers fighting nursery closures in the city.

Another speaker from the Black Triangle group denounced the vicious attacks on claimants who have disabilities or are sick.

The ECAP leaflet for the 24th urged the need for direct action such as walk-outs, strikes and occupations, and stressed:

"This is a fight both local and global, against the rich who quaff  £1300 bottles of wine in Hong Kong and Dubai while we worry about putting the heating on.  

Join us in the fight to defend people’s living standards and dignity against these cuts, and to show solidarity with the students. We are all in this together."


11.30am - 2pm Mon 13 Sept, A4e 34 Earl Grey St nr Tollcross Edinburgh
Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are organising a demonstration against compulsory work for benefits - this is an attack on the unemployed and workers alike.  Flexible New Deal provider A4e are denying unemployed people forced to attend their premises the right to be accompanied to interviews.   They have even called the police to try and stop us accompanying claimants - but we won't be intimidated!
We say

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty speaker in Edinburgh

Community Organizing and Anti-Poverty Work: The OCAP Story
7.30pm Mon 13 Sept
Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30-36 Dalmeny Street (off Leith Walk near Pilrig church), Edinburgh EH6 8RG

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are organising a public meeting with the dynamic Canadian group, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.  This will be an excellent opportunity to hear about how large numbers of people have successfully taken direct action against poverty, and to discuss what lessons can be learnt for our activity here in Scotland.

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