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Carillion: Union accuses government of inaction since firm's collapse

The Unite union has accused the government of inaction in the 12 months since the collapse of Carillion.

The company went into liquidation one year ago, on 15 January 2018, after running into huge financial problems.

Issues relating to this are currently the subject of three regulatory inquiries.

The union has claimed that the government has rejected calls for reform including preventing companies in financial difficulties from being able to win public sector contracts.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The government’s failure to take action to ensure that there cannot be similar collapses in the future is a betrayal of workers, who still face being cast on the scrapheap without warning because of irresponsible directors who place profit and shareholder dividends before people.

“A year on from Carillion’s collapse the government needs to stop prevaricating and start taking effective action to drive bandit capitalism out of the UK.”

As previously reported, the Cabinet Office has introduced a living will system for outsourcers to follow – which are resolution plans in the event of a business failure.

A government spokesman said it had ensured a “smooth continuation of public services and safeguarded almost 14,000 jobs” after the contractor’s collapse.

He added: “Our priority is to deliver quality public services while ensuring value for money for taxpayers. In the past year, the government has taken great strides to improve how we work with the private sector and to protect smaller businesses and employees.

“We remain committed to outsourcing, with the private sector providing cutting-edge innovation and expertise for public services, as well as millions of jobs across the UK.”

Carillion – One year on

This week, Construction News will publish a range of news articles, features and comment pieces exploring the impact of Carillion’s collapse, one year on.

Tomorrow, CN head of content Zak Garner-Purkis tells the untold stories of subcontractors who chose not to speak out and how they were affected, while revealing a disconnect between government and bank funds set up to support victims and those people affected.

On Wednesday, CN takes a look at a major project that suffered from Carillion’s collapse, where the client outlines how they managed to keep work going and the lessons learned. Features editor Binyamin Ali also sets out eight key lessons learned from the debacle that will shape the industry’s future.

On Thursday, news editor Ian Weinfass and Binyamin Ali explore the projects and people affected.

Subscribe to CN now for the best construction sector coverage.


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