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Atos IT staff threaten strike action over pay

London 2012 Olympic Games sponsor's lowest paid staff don't earn minimum wage, union claims

More than 1,500 workers at Atos IT Services and Atos Healthcare, who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), may go on strike this summer over low pay.

PCS is balloting its members this week after 89 percent of IT workers and 95 percent of healthcare staff at the major London 2012 Olympic Games sponsor voted to reject below-inflation pay offers. Most of the members work in the IT services division.

The union warned that the strikes could take place this summer, affecting staff working on a range of contracts, including the 24-hour technological support to BBC production staff and on-air presenters, IT support to the Welsh Assembly and back-up and fault diagnosis on MoT test centre systems at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

Meanwhile, around 400 of the healthcare staff are members of PCS, and comprise mainly of administrative and reception staff.

According to the union, Atos refuses to offer pay rises to the 'living wage' level of £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 an hour in the rest of the country. This is despite the company recording a 5.8 percent increase in first quarter 2012 revenue to 390 million in the UK and Ireland.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "In sponsoring the Olympics, Atos would like the world to associate it with a spirit of effort and success, but the reality is that it makes its millions on the backs of its low-paid staff."

An Atos spokesperson said: "We are currently in discussions with PCS and have made a fair and competitive offer. We have robust contingency plans in place to avoid any disruption to services in the event of a strike."


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