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Wednesday, 23 January

Carillion Mark Two - Union Supports Interserve Government Contracts Ban

Unite

The financially troubled outsourcing giant Interserve could be ‘Carillion Mark Two’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union warned on Monday December 10.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “We would support a temporary ban on Interserve bidding for public sector contracts, while it attempts to resolve its financial problems."

Unite, which has 1,200 members working across Interserve, called on ministers to say what their contingency plans were in the event that Interserve was unable to restructure its debt-laden finances - and called outsourcing an 'unhealthy obsession' that is ‘a road to nowhere with the taxpayer picking up the tab’.

Cartmail added: “The financial difficulties that Interserve finds itself in is another dire warning of the dangers of outsourcing public services for private profit. We could be facing Carillion Mark Two.

“The mistakes made before the collapse of Carillon in January 2018 appear in danger of being repeated. The moral is that public services should be provided by the public sector, as the record of these outsourcing behemoths has been woeful."

 

Contingency plans

“We want to know from ministers what contingency plans are in place should Interserve be unable to restructure its debt-laden finances," continued Cartmail.

 

Public enquiry

Cartmail  also called for a public enquiry to include the Interserve situation. She said: “Unite has called for a public inquiry into the Carillion debacle and today we would ask that such an inquiry should embrace the events leading up to present situation at Interserve.

 

Members

Cartmail  was also scathing when it came to other outsourcers and her members, saying: “Another classic example of the government’s unhealthy obsession with outsourcing is the fate of the Ministry of Defence firefighters, vital to the UK’s national security. In the summer, the MoD firefighters’ contact was awarded to Capita, despite its own financial problems but then this was challenged by rival outsourcer Serco - and this has yet to be resolved.

“You could not make this up when most reasonable people would agree that such an important service as MoD firefighters should be under government control.”

Picture: Unite has 1,200 members working across Interserve. The company employs more than 24,000 cleaners across its Support Services business who are based at clients ranging from supermarket chains through to small private businesses, the NHS and Government offices.

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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