Unite press release

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Unite says PPE profiteers must be held to account following damning PAC report

Report finds ‘significant failings’ in PPE management. 

Unite general secretary blasts ‘modern-day’ Harry Limes.

A new report from the Public Accounts Committee has identified ‘significant failings’ in the management of PPE contracts that have led to a stockpile of almost 4 billion items.

Unite, Britain’s leading union, is calling for the PPE suppliers who disgracefully profiteered during the pandemic to be held to account.

The report has damning criticism of the Government for failing to prevent profiteering and for failing to identify conflicts of interest.

The PAC has exposed how Government failures to control PPE contracts could cost taxpayers £2.7 billion.

This corruption recalls the novel by Graham Greene “The Third Man”. The central character Harry Lime is caught stealing penicillin from military hospitals, diluting it and making a killing on the black market. We are dealing here with modern-day Harry Limes.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The guilty profiteers must be held to account and so must the Government ministers who abused their position to fast track firms they had links with. The real life, modern times Harry Limes must face justice."

“We also had the appalling situation of NHS staff having to care for people with covid-19 without sufficient PPE to protect themselves from infection. Supplying PPE at inflated prices at the height of the pandemic was sickening then and it’s sickening now.”

Unite’s latest report ‘Corporate Profiteering and the Cost of Living Crisis’ exposes how profiteering is driving inflation, not wages.


Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion Web: unitetheunion.org

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.