The news that the UK's second largest construction company, Carillion, has been placed into compulsory liquidation has prompted a warning from Unite the union that this must not mean 'business as usual for big business'.
Unite, the country's biggest union, made the call today (Monday) following the appointment of PWC as the administrator for the services giant.
Commenting, Jim Kennedy Unite national officer for local government, said: "These have been a grim few days for this workforce. They will head into work today not knowing if their wages, pensions and even their jobs are safe.
"The administrator must provide reassurances on these to the workforce as a matter of urgency, and also that vital public services on which many depend will continue to be provided.
"We will be seeking a meeting with the administrator today to press home that that the priorities now are not the shareholders but the workers who provide the service and the people relying on them
"One thing is evidently clear from this: there must be no business as usual for big business. There has to be an urgent inquiry into how a company that loaded itself with debt, which undercut competitors with unsustainable bids, which hoovered up vats of public money, and that had repeatedly alerted the government to its own financial shortcomings got its hands on so much of the public sector and taxpayers' cash.
`We are also very concerned about the impact of Carillion's collapse on the wider supply chain. Many of these small firms are the lifeblood of their community but their exposure to Carillion's debt puts them at serious risk.
"PWC must put workers and suppliers at the head of the queue for payment, not the banks and certainly not the Carillion boardroom whose greed and recklessness has brought this giant company to its knees and imperiled so much of our public services."
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.