The boss at the Royal Liverpool Hospital has refused to meet Unite, the country’s largest union, over the future of maintenance staff now in employment limbo because of the controversial Carillion collapse.

Unite said that Aidan Kehoe, chief executive at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, had snubbed the more than 50 workers responsible for the repair and maintenance of the trust’s existing buildings.

The union said the workers, employed by Carillon, were legitimately concerned about their future - and the best course would be for their roles to be taken back in-house.

Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “These workers are in an employment limbo through no fault of their own – they are the victims of the feral capitalism that was the cause of Carillion’s dramatic collapse.

“The fact that highly-paid NHS boss Aidan Kehoe is unable to meet Unite to discuss the future of this group of hardworking maintenance staff is a disgrace and a snub.

“These workers are responsible for the daily maintenance of the trust’s buildings and all the health & safety implications this entails. They are separate from the new build at the Royal Liverpool Hospital which is unlikely to be finished this year

“These workers are now stranded in an employment ‘no man’s land’ and could be transferred to a new outsourced provider at any time. We would want to avoid that as we don’t want their pay and conditions salami-sliced by a new company engaged in a race to the bottom.

“As Carillion is in liquidation, TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations) don’t apply and these workers face loss of continuous service which will impact on their future pay, employment conditions and pensions.

“The mature and sensible way forward would for the trust to take these jobs back in-house – and that is why Aidan Kehoe’s intransigent stance is doubly disappointing. We call on him to have an urgent rethink.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.