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Around 2,500 Carillion jobs at risk after rescue deal collapses

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

Around 2,500 Carillion workers who thought their jobs had been saved have been plunged into fresh uncertainty after the rescue deal collapsed.

The deal would have secured the jobs of around 2,500 Carillion workers providing services to hospitals, the education sector, justice, transport and emergency services

Canadian company BGIS was buying a string of Carillion contracts to provide services to hospitals, the education sector, justice, transport and emergency services and taking on the Carillion staff working on them.

But, in a shock move, BGIS – Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions – has pulled out of the deal. It puts the future of the 2,500 workers in jeopardy unless a new offer comes along.

It will be a shattering blow for workers who had thought their jobs had been saved.

They had been among 8,216 workers who jobs have been saved so far since the Wolverhampton-based construction and services giant crashed into liquidation in January. Another 1,458 people have lost their jobs while around 7,500 more workers still face an uncertain future, including about 400 working at the company's city centre headquarters in Wolverhampton.

In a brief statement yesterday the Canadian property and facilities management company said the deal "will not be proceeding, as certain closing conditions have not been met".

BGIS chief executive Gord Hicks added: “While we are disappointed at this outcome, we are continuing to pursue opportunities to grow our global business into the U.K. and welcome continued dialogue with prospective customers as we build out our platform for future growth opportunities."

A spokesperson for the Insolvency Service said: "The agreement with BGIS was conditional on ongoing support from customers for continued provision but this could not be secured. Transfers of other facility management contracts following sale agreements continue.”

When the deal was agreed last month Mr Hicks said: "This deal provides continuity of services for a large number of customers providing critical infrastructure within the UK Market. Our team is looking forward to engaging both customers and employees in the days ahead to effect the transaction and ensure a smooth transition.”

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It is not known whereabouts in the UK the various contracts were held, as Carillion provided services such as hospital cleaning and school catering nationwide among 450 public sector contracts and hundreds more with private sector companies.

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, national officer for health at the Unite union, said: “Unite believes that wherever possible these contracts should be brought back in house, this is in the best interests of the workforce and the general public. Public sector contracts should not be hawked about to companies that are seeking to make a profit from the public sector.

“If the liquidator is insistent on selling of these vital public sector contracts then Unite has set certain tests which we believe another contractor must meet. These are: The terms and conditions the workforce currently receive from Carillion must be honoured, the company should be committed to paying the real living wage as a minimum, it recognises and works with union, the company must affiliate to the NHS pension scheme or other public sector scheme, pay its taxes in the UK, has clear fair and equitable policies and has not been involved in blacklisting.”

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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