It is still hard to fathom how Carillion one of the UK’s biggest construction firms could be allowed to go bust and collapse.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today accused the Government of being “deeply negligent”, telling the House of Commons that the large salaries and bonuses paid to Carillion executives while the future of its 20,000 employees were put at risk showed there was “one rule for the super-rich, another for everybody else”.
In fiery exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Corbyn said the Government had a responsibility to ensure the construction giant, which held £1.7 billion worth of public sector contracts, was properly managed.
Mrs Mays response: “We were a customer of Carillion, not the manager of Carillion, and that is a very important difference.”
Some of the contracts which this company holds are vital to the day to day running of the country and surely Mrs May should have a better response than this.
On top of the 20,000 people in employed with Carillion what about the impact of the sub contractors, building and pluming supply companies, SMEs and sole operators – work has paused on construction sites pending decisions how and if they will be restarted, there will hardly be a supply industry that will not be affected.
It has also been disclosed that for months Carillion had been in talks with the government to try and come up with a solution with no avail Meanwhile, unions warned that the “clock is ticking” for thousands of workers caught up in the collapse amid redundancy fears.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) warned ministers not to “duck and dive” over the pay and jobs of workers in private firms as well as in the public sector.
Leaders of the Trades Union Congress, Unite and GMB met Business Secretary Greg Clark on Tuesday evening and warned him that workers should not be left to “carry the can”.
GMB general secretary Tim Roache said: “The clock is ticking for Carillion’s 8,500 private sector workers, and the Government must now offer them reassurance and financial guarantees.
“No worker should go hungry, default on a bill or miss a rent or payment because of a crisis they did not cause.”