Paralympic sponsor Atos faces five-day protest

Atos’ sponsorship of the Paralympic Games has come under fire from activists lobbying against its involvement with the Government’s controversial handling of welfare cuts.

AtosPic

The healthcare company has been criticised for its handling of a £100m-a-year contract with the Coalition to assess whether people claiming for sickness and disability benefits are fit for work.

Campaign groups Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and UK Uncut have started a week of action against the deal, which they say has “devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people” in the UK.

British Paralympians including swimmer Tara Flood are supporting the campaign and have warned that disability benefit cuts will affect the development of top athletes as well as undermine the Games’ legacy aim of improving access to sport for disabled people in the UK.

The campaign includes a nationwide protest at Atos offices today (28 August) alongside online petitions for those unable to get to the protests. On Wednesday (29 August), the day of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, a coffin full of messages will be delivered to the company.

The campaign will end with a “grand finale” in the form of a joint rally on Friday (31 August) in London.

Atos were commissioned by the government to asses 11,000 cases of incapacity benefits every week and has been criticised by politicians as well as campaigners for their approach.

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