August 2014

28
Aug
2014
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The next Serco scandal: overcharging the NHS

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Outsourcing giant Serco is embroiled in another misuse of public funds scandal after a company it set up overcharged NHS hospitals millions of pounds, as revealed by Corporate Watch and the Independent today.

Internal documents leaked to Corporate Watch suggest Britain’s biggest pathology provider, established by Serco in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London, overcharged the hospitals millions of pounds for tests and services.

The venture - first called GSTS and now trading under the name Viapath - has been dogged by allegations of cost-cutting and clinical failings since it started. Internal documents show increasing concern amongst senior consultants who claimed that staff cuts and a lack of investment since privatisation left some laboratories close to disaster.  


22
Aug
2014
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True scale of captive migrant labour revealed

Harmondsworth-interior-buff-floor-night-time-GEO

Companies are potentially saving millions by paying asylum-seekers just £1 an hour to do essential jobs inside their detention centres, an investigation by Corporate Watch has found.

G4S, Serco, GEO and Mitie, which hold large government contracts to run immigration detention centres across the UK, paid hundreds of detainees a total of £45,438 for working 44,832 hours – the equivalent of 6,000 working days - in May 2014, according to disclosures under the Freedom of Information Act. The majority of detainees were only paid £1 an hour, with some paid £1.25 for certain jobs.


13
Aug
2014
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UK subsidiary of Israeli drone manufacturer shut down in Gaza protest

A UK subsidiary of the Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit was shut down for two days last week in a protest against the company's complicity in the ongoing massacre in Gaza.

UAV Engines, based in Shenstone, Lichfield, produces drone engines and components which, according to government data acquired by by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, have been exported to Israel in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Amnesty International had previously uncovered evidence that engines from UAV Engines were incorporated into the Israeli Hermes 450 drones, which were used during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.


11
Aug
2014
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Ecotricity promises to drop G4S

As the bombs continued to rain down on Gaza, on Saturday 26th July, Jon Snow of Channel 4 news hosted a debate at WOMAD festival around the theme of ‘Is the UK doing enough to tackle emissions?’ On the panel of ‘experts’ sat Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, the green electricity company that sponsored this year’s festival of music and dance from around the world.


08
Aug
2014
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G4S sued over triple murder

Families of three G4S guards gunned down by a colleague in Canada are suing the security company over flawed vetting procedures. But the regional manager is now working for the business in Britain.

Travis Baumgartner, a 21-year-old heavily indebted G4S trainee, murdered his co-workers in June 2012 while they were delivering cash to a bank machine in Alberta. He then tried to run away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen money.

Lawsuits submitted this week by the victims' families allege that G4S failed to ensure if Baumgartner was psychologically fit to carry out his duties, which included handling a loaded gun.


06
Aug
2014
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Re-visiting NETCU - Police Collaboration with Industry

NETCU logo

Throughout its six year history, from 2004 until 2011, the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU) was the unit protesters loved to hate. Often confused with the National Public Order Intelligence Unit and the Forward Intelligence Teams, NETCU was the public face of the police's dealings with protests. Here we revisit how it enabled industry and police to collaborate in the suppression of protest, and show how its former officers continue to provide a service to industry.


01
Aug
2014
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Tesco: the boycott that wasn't

mislabelled Medradin produce

Firstly, the changes do not refer to all produce but only to Tesco's own brand, in this case one line of dates, and when Corporate Watch contacted Tesco for a clarification on practice its press office was less than forthcoming. After several attempts, we finally received a short reply from Alasdair Gee which stated "I'd like to point out that the Irish article is highly misleading. There has been no sourcing policy change. Any sourcing arrangements are purely for commercial reasons". The statement failed to answer any of the questions we had posed, including whether Tesco will continue to source from the Israeli company Mehadrin, which operates in several settlements in the occupied Jordan Valley, as well as in the Golan. A follow up question regarding this has gone unanswered.