Atos IT staff reject pay deal, strike action looms

See also: Atos enter final tests for London 2012

More than 1,500 workers at outsourcer and main London 2012 Olympic Games sponsor Atos may go on strike this summer over low pay.

Staff affected are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) at Atos IT Services and Atos Healthcare. Most of the members work in the IT services division.

PCS is balloting its members this week after 89 percent of IT workers and 95 percent of healthcare staff voted to reject below-inflation pay offers.

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.

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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 level of £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 an hour in the rest of the country, which it considers to be a minimum living wage.

Against this, 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.”

Atos had not yet replied to requests for comment at the time of writing.