After we had - or so we thought- exhausted all democratic means of preventing our borough from being occupied by an alien force this appalling, horrific news contains a spark of hope: it gives a clue as to how we are eventually going to win back what is ours: maybe it could prove to be the one thing that will unwedge Capita’s loathsome grip on our services: solidarity - workers’, users’ and activists’ joint action!
This is how it works with any occupation: how resistance movements are built. They can ignore 8000 signatures, leaflets, heckling, occupations, even partial strikes, but once the workforce and citizens come together in action, and refuse to do the multinationals’ dirty work for them, who knows…….?
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The company responsible for carrying out disability benefit assessments across Wales and central England is facing a revolt by disabled staff over allegations of widespread discrimination.
They say that Capita – already under fire over its performance in assessing claimants of personal independence payment, the government’s new disability benefit – appears to have no proper policies in place to manage staff protected under the Equality Act.
The employees all work for Service Birmingham, a joint enterprise that is two-thirds owned by Capita and one-third by Birmingham City Council and aims to “transform” the council’s public services, including its IT services and call centre.
Capita was criticised last autumn after Service Birmingham’s pre-tax profits leapt by more than half to £21 million.
Disability News Service (DNS) has heard from four disabled members of Service Birmingham staff, who have all raised concerns about the way Capita treats its disabled employees, as well as other issues about the way the company is run.
At least one member of staff is taking the organisation to a tribunal, while there are said to have been “multiple” grievances brought internally by other disabled employees.
One whistleblower has now come forward to raise concerns with the Labour councillor who chairs Service Birmingham, Dr Barry Henley – copying his email to the council leader, Sir Albert Bore – after trying unsuccessfully to persuade the company to deal with the issues internally. [Read more...]