Socialist Worker

Workers must not pay the price of Carillion collapse

Issue No. 2589

Carillion construction workers

Carillion construction workers (Pic: Flickr/Department for Transport)

Thousands of workers for failed outsourcing and construction firm Carillion are anxiously waiting to discover what is happening to their jobs.

They have been warned by liquidators that they could face pay cuts and worse conditions if they are transferred to new firms that take up the contracts.

The usual Tupe transfer regulations don’t apply because the businesses are in liquidation.


A letter from PwC liquidators says, “We are seeking agreement from any new providers that they will take on as many affected staff as they can on appropriate terms.”

That could mean other outsourcers take the contracts—and make them profitable by slashing pay.

The letter goes on, “It is quite possible that moves may need to be completed within a matter of days – perhaps less. We cannot confirm any specific transfer today but such transfers could happen before 31 January in some cases.”

Unite union assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “Even if the jobs of workers are preserved they now face the prospect of being transferred to new companies without warning with potentially far lower rates of pay and poorer conditions.

“The government and its taskforce needs to immediately get a grip of this issue and to ensure that companies taking on Carillion workers respect their existing pay, conditions, pensions and length of service.

“A situation where other companies were able to enrich themselves by picking up contracts and slashing workers’ pay is absolutely intolerable.”

That’s right. The unions need to fight to make defence of all the jobs with at least the same pay and conditions a reality.

A group of 18 workers in Broad Street West, Sheffield, claim they are being discarded. They say that when the government took over the prison facilities management services from Carillion they were left out.

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