Carillion crisis: Union calls for urgent talks

The UK’s largest union, Unite, has called for urgent talks with contractor Carillion after the crisis-hit firm issued a new profit warning on Friday and said it would breach its debt covenants.

The union, which represents around a 1,000 workers at the company and has many more operating in its supply chain, made the call for a direct meeting after the company’s share price plunged on its shock warning.

"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," said the union’s national officer for construction, Bernard McAulay.

"They need to know how Carillion intends to deal with its current financial crisis," he added.

The contracting and services firm said full-year profits would be materially lower than current market expectations after delays to public private partnership disposals, a later start date for a large Middle East project, and lower margin improvements across some UK outsourcing contracts.

The board said that with a rise in net debts to between £875m and £925m it expected to breach its financial covenants by the end of the year.

Interim chief executive Keith Cochrane said: "Whilst we continue to target cash collections, reduce costs, execute disposals and focus on delivering for our customers, it is clear that significant challenges remain and more needs to be done to reduce net debt.

"Unite has hundreds of members at Carillion all of whom will be highly concerned about the company’s financial situation," said McAulay.

"Aside from the directly employed workforce there are significantly more who are employed by sub-contractors and agencies on Carillion sites throughout the country."

Image: The union said it represents around a 1,000 workers at Carillion (Carillion)

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