Responding to today’s (Thursday 18 January) announcement by the business secretary Greg Clark that a national task force would be set up to deal with the fallout of Carillion’s collapse, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:
“The formation of a task force, combined with moves to ensure banks provide sub-contractors with a sympathetic ear are practical steps that Unite demanded to provide temporary relief for the many firms in Carillion’s supply chain.
“There should be no delay in setting this task force to work so that it can provide the practical support urgently needed to safeguard jobs and businesses, to keep services supplied and building sites ticking over.
“The government must use the taskforce to ensure those caught up by Carillion’s collapse avoid financial ruin and that mothballed sites start humming with activity again as a matter of urgency.
“A great many sub-contractors and suppliers will go under, robbing workers of their livelihoods and communities of the companies that are their lifeblood, if there isn’t a commitment to longer term financial assistance.
“Workers, communities and businesses will be still dealing with the wreckage of Carillion in the months and years to come. The whole Carillion scandal raises fundamental questions about the corporate governance of British companies and public services being run for profit instead of people.
“The firm built its business on reckless expansion, fuelled by debt and undercutting, wafer-thin profit margins, based on minimum pay for largely female workforces in many sectors, and the blacklisting of workers.
“A public inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of how a company that hoovered up vats of public money and repeatedly alerted the government to its own financial shortcomings got its hands on so much of the public sector and taxpayers' cash.”
For further information please contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- 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.