Unions’ anger at Interserve collapse

Union have expressed their anger and concern at the news outsourcer Interserve has been placed into administration.

The dent-laden public services provider employs 45,000 in Britain to clean schools and hospitals, run probation services and build roads and bridges but has been battling to avoid being consigned to the same fate as collapsed rival Carillion.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is yet another example of privatisation failing catastrophically at the expense of public services. Thousands of workers including school cleaners, catering staff and people working for probation contracts run by Interserve will be left wondering if they still have a job.

“Public service contracts need to be bought back in-house immediately. The government must give assurances that jobs, pensions and pay are all protected in the event of any collapse.”

GMB national officer Kevin Brandstatter said: “Ministers have learnt absolutely nothing from the Carillion fiasco and are hell-bent on outsourcing public sector contracts.” Shambolic mismanagement is putting jobs put on the line and services in jeopardy. Our public services can’t go on like this.

“We’ve launched our Go Public campaign to push for an end to outsourcing and privatisation in UK public services. It’s time to turn the tide on the disastrous experiment of gifting our public services to fly-by-night profiteering companies.

Unite national officer Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “The workforce are the innocent victims of the greed and incompetence of Interserve’s senior management, it should be the management who are fearful of their future and not the workers, who are blameless.

“Interserve’s management has portrayed this as business as normal but this is anything but normal. Workers are being asked to deliver vital public services without knowing who their employer will be and whether they will continue to have a job in the future.

“The government must step in and ensure that services continue and that workers are treated with dignity and respect. Once again we have seen the government’s outsourced model fail.

“It is essential that the administrators meet with Unite at the earliest possible opportunity and clarify what is in prospect for the workforce, a failure to do so would be crass, insensitive and deeply disrespectful to the workforce.

“Interserve is the latest example of bandit capitalism and this demonstrates that the government’s outsourcing business model is smashed beyond repair.

“The government has been asleep at the wheel since Carillion’s collapse last year and if no action is taken we face further corporate collapses.”

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