KUWG on Twitter

Friday, 16 December 2011

ATOS kills

On Saturday 3 December, friends from Winvisible, Benefit Claimants, Disabled People Against Cuts (Depac), the KUWG and others demonstrated at the Olympic Park, on the day a Paralympic test event was held.
As sponsors of the Paralympic, Atos joins Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) which will supply medals from copper mines whose pollution is blamed for deaths and birth disabilities; and Dow Chemical Co. which is spending $11.4m on the Olympics, but refusing proper compensation and clean-up to survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster.
Bhopal survivors and Indian athletes are calling for the London Olympics Committee to drop Dow, and for a boycott. Dow also made the chemical weapons Agent Orange and napalm used in the Vietnam war.
3 December was the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy in India, and saw a big protest there, led by women gas survivors. Shockingly, the Bhopal police, wielding long batons called lathis, beat and tear-gassed the demonstrators when they went to peacefully blockade the rail tracks in support of their demands. Many have lung damage from the 1984 gas explosion. See: http://bhopal.net/

Nottingham's 'Atos Two' Charged:


Solidarity With Nottingham’s ‘Atos Two’:

Statement of Support for the 'Atos Two':

To sign the statement of support please emailL: nottsdefence@riseup.net

Friday, 11 November 2011

Our Work Capability Reassessment Workshop

The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group held a Workshop on 20 October 2011 at the Forester Hall (part of the Tricycle). The KUWG called this gathering to oppose the Work Capability reassessment of benefits started by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Ellenor Hutson of SERTUC (South East Region of the TUC) opened the debate, explaining that there are two rates of ESA (Employment Support Allowance) that are now replacing sickness/incapacity benefits – Work-Related Activity Group, and Support Group. She said that the benefit assessment is draconian and everyone should familiarise themselves with the points system. See: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/welfare-rights-and-money-advice/limited-capability-work-physical-health-des

While people in the “Support Group” people are NOT required to get ready for a return to work, it is difficult to be placed in it. Most people who qualify for ESA are placed in the ‘work related’ group. But there are ways to challenge this arbitrariness which attacks persons with all sorts of impairments. One should always be ready to appeal any unfair decision made, as soon as it is made.

The next speaker was John Kilvington who works in the Somali Community at the Kingsgate Community Centre, and who helps with all kinds of immigration, sickness and unemployment problems. He said that when one has access to re-assessment forms, it is worth studying each question and taking time and advice before filling them. He concluded that one must not be dominated by the forms but one must dominate them. To reject the arbitrariness of the forms one can always add more detail on supplementary pages, and attach medical letters. He said that you can win cases by pointing out wrong assumptions and inaccuracies, and that people can learn to represent themselves and that once they have the information and the backing they do very well at tribunal because they know their own situation best.

Three other speakers followed: Kim Sparrow of Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, Stella Mpaka of the All African Women’s Group, and Claire Glasman of WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities). These speakers came with a lot of documents available on their websites. Some of these were about the protests against Atos, the private company that assesses disability benefit claims for the government. (Note that nearly half of appeals against Atos’ refusal are successful, rising to 7 in 10 where the person has support from a rights representative. Other documents relate to the work of Legal Action for Women (LAW), and the Welfare Reform Bill being pushed through Parliament. From now on, most people on ESA are threatened that they must attend work focused interviews or do work-related activity of one kind or another. This creates cases of extraordinary anxiety and despair.

After a specific complaint by WinVisible, the DWP admitted that Jobcentre staff had wrongly threatened a woman that her benefit would be stopped if she didn’t attend a work-focussed interview. In fact she had severe mental health problems and was in the Support Group of ESA, so was excused from any stressful interviews. The Jobcentre was guilty of imposing jobseeker rules on her and had to back down.

These women’s groups have put together information on the Welfare Reform Bill and what we can do to oppose it. See: http://www.winvisible.org/BEN/Welfare_Reform_Bill_info_%20and_what_we_can_do.htm

The Workshop continued with a debate – we were 18 in all – to explain our problems, fears and hopes. Each person in the room, immigrant or born in Britain, is facing problems that call for solidarity between all sufferers, between all genders, between all races, and between all ages. Most people who are unemployed or on benefits see their social services being cut, the increasing cost of childcare and terrible threats to housing benefits, whilst all the prices go up and there are less and less jobs. People were encouraged by the information and support provided, and keen to stay in touch and work together.

Join the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group. It meets every Thursday at 3pm at the Kingsgate Community Centre, NW6. It is also worth looking up the “crossroadswomen.net” site and seek out the dynamic Crossroads Women Centre in Kentish Town, NW5.

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group – 27.10.11

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Our upcoming workshop on the Work Capability Reassessment

Are you or anyone you know having issues with ESA and/or WORK CAPABILITY REASSESSMENT?

You are not alone.

Find out what it is all about.

• Learn how many others are affected.

• Meet other people in similar situation.

• Gain support and feel

Struggling with health issues and being forced back into work prematurely by the
Work Capability Reassessment???

Unfair decisions and lack of support???


Come along and hear others’ experiences and share yours.

Have some solidarity.

Lets prepare for action.

The Kilburn unemployed workers group (KUWG) says:

Oppose the work Capability Reassessment

Come to our workshop:

Thursday 20/10/11
7-9 PM
Forester Hall (part of the Tricycle Cinema)
269 Kilburn High Rd

Free Entry

Ellenor Hutson of SERTUC (south eastern region of the trades union congress)
to lead everyone to have a chance to have their say.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Con-Dems have condemned all of us

A few articles on the real effects of cuts:




An Open Letter to ATOS

An Open Letter to Atos Healthcare

Lisa Coleman
General Manager for the DWP Contracts
Atos Healthcare
4 Triton Square
Regent's Place
London, NW1 3HG

Dear Ms Coleman,

We the undersigned are seriously concerned by the fact that Atos Healthcare, the provider of the Work Capability Assessment for sickness benefits, has threatened legal action against the Internet hosting companies of three websites which circulated letters from sickness benefit claimants - 'Carerwatch', 'After Atos' and 'Atos Register of Shame' (now relaunched as 'A### the Truth').

These websites have given members of society who are often isolated and have traditionally found it difficult to take joint action, the chance to come together and share their experiences. We find it unacceptable that a large IT company, which receives £100m per year for their assessment of claimants, has deployed their legal department against individuals or small organisations who dared to circulate people’s comments and concerns about their treatment at Atos’ hands.

As acknowledged by both the recent Harrington Report and the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the Work Capability Assessment implemented by Atos Healthcare was found to be mechanistic and Atos’ ‘medical reports’ far too often did not reflect circumstances and discussions that had taken place during the assessments (Harrington Report, pp. 40-41). In addition, ESA claimants have now been told that twelve doctors working for Atos face being struck off for improper conduct, and other members of Atos’ staff are under investigation over allegations of obscene criticism of benefit claimants.

Atos Healthcare has given assurances that the shortcomings identified by the Harrington Report are being addressed. Yet many claimants are still experiencing the distress of poor and rushed medical assessments based on Atos Healthcare’s computer programme.

Amid growing concern that Atos Healthcare is failing to raise its methods and professionalism to acceptable standards, the company is now attempting to silence those claimants and their small organisations who have had the courage to speak up. At a time when we see that major corporations such as News International are able to use the threat of legal action to hide their wrongdoings, it is important that Atos’ actions are brought to account.

It is also the case that government bodies are unable to sue for libel. Atos' argument is that they are taking legal action to protect their business reputation, but in this case they are performing the work of the DWP, and receiving public money for doing it.

For these reasons, we ask that Atos withdraw all threats of libel action, that they publicly guarantee that they will not in future use the libel laws to close down criticism of their practices, and that they make a public apology to those individuals and websites which they have tried to silence.

Yours truly

Brighton Benefits Campaign
Tony Greenstein Brighton & Hove TUC Unemployed Centre
Caroline Lucas MP
Amanda Sebestyen Writer
Paul Smith Atos Victims Group
Holly Smith (President) Brighton and Hove Trades Union Council
Brighton Keep Our NHS Public
Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition
Brighton Disabled People Against Cuts
Ipswich Unemployed Action
Disabled People Against Cuts
False Economy
Southampton United for Pensions and Public Services
National Coalition for Independent Action
Redhill Coalition Against Cuts
Lewes Stop the Cuts
Art Uncut
DLA Help Group
The Broken of Britain
Suffolk Coalition for Public Services
Queer Resistance
Newport Trades Union Council
Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance
Cornwall Disabled People Against Cuts
Oxford Save Our Services
Kilburn Unemployed Workers

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Forget about the social fund!!!

We all have been in a position to have applied for a grant from JCP’s social fund. In the past the social fund covered urgent expenses such as buying furniture when moving into a new place, interview clothes and educational fees for adults. We have been told by our local JCP’s manager that this fund at least in our locality has been tapped out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current government completely cancelled this fund across the nation in the near future. Even if they don’t do that we have been proven from our past experiences that they usually decline most clients’ claims for grants and instead issue a loan lower than the requested amount. Then the poor unfortunate benefit claimant has their benefits garnished to cover the loan and in most cases the deduction is a substantial chunk of their weekly income which makes it much harder to cope with the oceans of life expenses in this already economically miserable times. It is not a bad idea to utterly forget about the social fund. No worries there are other sources of funds in urgent situations. There are virtually hundreds of charitable trusts who provide grants for pretty much any cause. The process is very meticulous and might take close to 2 months but at least there are no strings attached and you won’t have to pay back a penny. All you need to do is do a search on the following websites or give them a call to find out what charities would provide funds for your specific need. Good luck folks!!!

Friday, 22 July 2011


A few pictures from our participation in Tolpuddle on Sunday 17/7/11, Enjoy!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Housing Workshop

We have a public workshop
About the current housing issues

Free entry for all
Thursday 21/7/11
7-9 PM
Foresters Hall
269 Kilburn High Rd

Speakers from the Brent Law Society and the Hackney Housing Group (part of LCAP) will attend


Kilburn Festival

Thanks everyone for your support and attendance at the wonderful Kilburn Festival. We all had a great time and were able to raise awareness and receive some donations. Enjoy these pictures, it was purely Rock'N'Roll.
Thanks again and rock on everyone!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Don't be embarrassed if these hard days have you down and you struggle for your meals sometimes. Foodbanks are here to help. Follow the link below to find out where your nearest foodbank is and how you can receive donations, and yes, it is all free of charge:


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Don't get ripped off by your mobile phone network, calling non-geographical phone numbers

Many people don't realise that there are many phone providers offering cheaper calls to standard telephone numbers (those beginning with 01, 02 or 03), which don't apply to 0844, 0845, 0870 or 0871 telephone numbers. - Please see the links page and click on Cheapest Call Provider for price details. This shows that by using multiple providers, you can reduce your call cost on standard telephone numbers to as little as 4p fixed cost (regardless of duration), whereas the cheapest provider to 0870 numbers during the day that I am aware of charges 6p/min (+ 9.3p connection fee [with BT]) to call.


Who will gain from Workfare???

Workfare - compulsory work for benefits - is being rolled-out across the country. We call on public sector bodies, voluntary organisations and businesses being offered these placements as well as union branches to join others in signing a pledge to boycott the scheme.


The mystery of shrinking food items!!!

A host of familiar grocery products are getting smaller while their price stays the same. Why?


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Help the ATOS victims

Please help the ATOS victims by visiting the website below, filling the forms about your experiences and raising awareness about the atrocities that ATOS commits.


Use of false names by the JC staff

JCP advisors using made up names? Could one reason to do so be that they are ashamed of victimising, brutalising, crucifying and sanctioning the poor and unfortunate job seekers?


Saturday, 30 April 2011

We have a public workshop
About the transference of ESA claimants to JSA

Oppose the coalition’s work capability reassessment
Free entry for all
Thursday 19/5/11
7-9 PM
Foresters Hall
269 Kilburn High Rd

Andy Greene from Disability Action Islington
David Milner from Islington Poverty Action Group (part of LCAP)