Trade union concerned about what lies in store for the 1,000 employees it represents 


Unite has called for urgent talks with crisis-hit Carillion following fresh concerns around the contractor’s future.

The trade union represents around 1,000 employees at the contractor who are directly employed or employed by sub-contractors and agencies on sites throughout the country.

On Friday, Carillion issued its third profit warning of the year and admitted it will breach its financial covenants, with debts likely to be in the region of £925m.

It has made attempts to reduce costs to slash its mounting debt pile and hit its disposal target of £300m by the end of next year, including the sale of a “large part” of its UK healthcare FM business to support services specialist Serco for £50m last month.

But in its trading update, Carillion admitted the turnaround plans were not progressing as quickly as first hoped, led by a mix of delays to some PPP disposals and start date of a significant project in the Middle East, as well as lower than expected margin improvements across a small number of UK support services contract.

This will lead to profits for 2017 being “materially lower” than current expectations. Carillion is now in talks with stakeholders regarding a range of options to reduce debt, as well as further ways to repair and strengthen its balance sheet.

Bernard McAulay, national officer for construction at Unite, said: “It is vital that the senior management of the Carillion Group sits down with Unite and provides a warts and all prognosis of the company’s long-term future in order for our members to be properly informed of what the future holds.

“They need to know how Carillion intends to deal with its current financial crisis.”