‘Two-faced, money-grubbing, callous, ignorant ATOS’

UNISON president Chris Tansley, speaking at the union’s disabled members’ conference in Brighton today, condemned the “extraordinary hypocrisy” of the government for praising the Paralympics and its athletes, while allowing the “two-faced, money-grubbing, callous, ignorant ATOS,” to act as an event sponsor.

He was speaking out against the government’s welfare to work programme, administered by private company ATOS, and he warned that this programme, in tandem with the abolition of the severe disability premium, attack on the independent living fund, severe cuts to welfare and public service cuts would lead to a “bleak future” for some in our society.

However, he reported: “It’s not all doom and gloom. UNISON was created for times like this. We’re here to give a voice to the growing opposition to these vicious cuts.” And he reminded delegates of the March for a Future that Works on 20 October: “a testament to the work of our members, our activists and our staff.”

He also spoke up for his nominated presidential charity Hope not Hate, which aims to “challenge and defeat the politics of hate in local communities.”

He praised the charity’s work, saying that “in recent times the BNP has been routed in election heartlands thanks to its work.” And he warned that growing economic troubles would bring an increased attempt by “the far right to exploit this.”

Hope not hate

UNISON disabled members