07 June 2018
After the announcement today that the collapse of Carillion will cost the taxpayer £148 million, Unite has called on the government to “stop playing Russian roulette with people’s money” and keep public services in public hands.
The National Audit Office (NAO) published the findings of its investigation into the government’s handling of Carillion’s liquidation, warning that it may be years before the final cost to the public purse is known.
Since the firm declared insolvency on 15 January 2018, 2,332 workers (13% of former staff) have been made redundant, 11,638 (64%) have found new jobs, and 3,000 continue to be employed by Carillion. Those still working for the company are “in limbo”, Unite reported, as they do not know if their jobs are safe and they are not protected by TUPE regulations, which means that if the services they provide are transferred to new management then the terms and conditions of their employment could be cut.
Assistant General Secretary for Unite, Gail Cartmail, said: “It is simply appalling that five months after Carillion’s collapse, thousands of workers delivering public services are looking over their shoulders everyday; fearing what the future holds for them, with no employment protections, even if their jobs are transferred to a new provider.”
Calling for the government to restart projects – such as hospital building – that were mothballed after the collapse in order to reduce the cost to the taxpayer and provide jobs, she warned the government about the dangers of privatising public services.
“The penny has still not dropped about this failed business model with the government, needs to end the culture of outsourcing and stop playing Russian roulette with taxpayers’ money by bringing public sector contracts back in house,” she said.