Councillors, business people mobilise to handle Carillion fallout

Councillors and businessmen mobilised Monday to ensure the safety of hundreds of jobs across the West Midlands after the collapse of construction giant Carillion.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce announced it was setting up a task force to help local employees, suppliers, and contractors.

Wolverhampton City Council meanwhile said they were in talks with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to handle the situation.

Nationally, the Cabinet Office said it would guarantee salaries of people working on Carillion projects across the country and urged them to turn up to work as normal.

But there were growing calls from opposition MPs and union leaders for a public inquiry into the affair.

Artist’s impression of Birmingham’s Paradise Circus project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carillion is involved in a number of major projects across the West Midlands, including the Paradise Circus development, Midland Metropolitan Hospital, and the High-Speed Rail 2.

There were warning signs as far back as July 2017, when shares fell sharply after a profits warning.

The refusal of the government to step in and bail out the company decided its fate.

The collapse of Carillion, the second largest construction company in Britain, came on Monday, as Chairman Philip Green announced they had failed to get the finance they needed to stay in business.

Price Waterhouse Coopers will handle the liquidation process.

Opposition MPs meanwhile denounced the government’s handling of the affair.

Jack Dromey, The Labour member for Birmingham Erdington, tweeted:

“Anyone with half a brain could see Carillion was sinking. Yet they still got £2 billion Government contracts.”

Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, was due to hold talks with the administrators Monday about the future for the Carillion workforce.

The company’s employees did not know if their wages, pensions,  and jobs were safe, said Jim Kennedy Unite national officer for local government.

“The administrator must provide reassurances … to the workforce as a matter of urgency, and also that vital public services on which many depend will continue to be provided.

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