Atos management recently sent its staff a DVD for disability awareness and
a leaflet praising its corporate partnership with the Paralympic games.
This propaganda operation should not obscure the reality.
Starting with the scandal of Atos Healthcare in the UK. This Atos division
has signed a lucrative contract with the Ministry for Work and Pensions to
assess benefit claimants, with the stated aim of getting rid of
« scroungers »
The assessments are based on a questionnaire containing very subjective
criteria, often in locations difficult for disabled people to access.
Following their assessments, many people suffering from severe chronic
illnesses or mental problems are found fit to work.
*Result: Over a hundred people have committed suicide (source Daily Mail).*
In France the situation is not quite so grim but is not rosy either.
French law requires companies to recruit 6 % disabled people, but this has
been circumvented by Atos through an agreement signed with other unions,
bringing the quota down to 2 %; Nice savings for the management!
The Atos headquarters in Bezons is far from being readily accessible: The
main entrance has a revolving door and a person in a wheelchair has to wait
for a guard to open the door. To get into the corridor is not much better:
It is impossible to open the heavy wooden door and to swipe a card at the
same time without assistance. These problems have been repeatedly brought
to the attention of Atos management.