Exclusive: How the French are squabbling over the spoils they can make by privatising and removing jobs from Britain
Atos,hated by the disabled in Britain for its harsh policy in implementing Iain Duncan Smith’s policy of getting the disabled back to work, has made a hostile bid to take over Steria, the company chosen by the government to privatise NHS and Whitehall jobs and remove some to India.
Steria is trying to merge with Sopra, another French IT company,in a ” sweetheart deal ” to make big profits by combining new technology with removing jobs from Europe to India.
Steria is furious with Atos for what it calls ” disturbing ” its talks with Sopra. But Atos has left its lucrative offer on the table to tempt Steria shareholders
All this is revealed in a small report from the Paris reporters on the influential Bloomberg website over Easter.
For Atos the deal is simple. It a double whammy – they make money from Iain Duncan Smith’s privatisation of benefit medical tests and more money by offshoring jobs from Britain to India.
For the disabled not such good news, they are forced back into the job market say in Sheffield just at the point when jobs are being moved to India by the same company.
The deal merging Steria and Sopra is equally as good. the game is given away in a press release on Sopra’s website which reveals that it will create a three million Euro company, which could rapidly grow to four million Euros by economies of scale, more jobs shifted from Europe to India and a big jump in profit margins.
It says:”Sopra brings the power of its organisation in France, the strength of
its banking, human resources and real estate products and its effective application management model.
For its part, Steria brings its international reach (Europe and Asia) with a strong
positioning in the United Kingdom.”
“Industrial-scale production capacity would be significantly reinforced with an array of offshore and nearshore service centres representing a workforce of approximately 8,000 people,including over 6,000 in India.”
The company would be 35,000 strong with 8000 jobs in India and other offshore sites.
It also adds that “Steria would be able to leverage Sopra’s offshore capacity in India for its French clients.”
These include the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the NHS. Soon,no doubt to be joined by the Home Office and Ministry for Justice.
It predicts profit margins – currently 6.8 per cent for Sopra in the UK will soon top 10 per cent.
For ministers like Francis Maude, Jeremy Hunt and Iain Duncan Smith, this must be bliss – the French squabbling over the best way to make loads of money from their privatisation programmes. It is a global capitalist’s wet dream with even the prospect of a few non exec directorships for retiring Tory politicians when they leave office.
For the disabled, civil servants and those who believe in and want good local services with a public service ethos, it probably can’t be worse. How long before a disabled claimant denied benefit by Atos is told there is a good company vacancy in Pune, India so go and get the job.