Calls for overhaul of public procurement system after Carillion's collapse

"Government now faces a stark choice: bail Carillion out or let public services and projects suffer. The folly of private ownership of the hospitals is exposed fully by this bankruptcy", OCHU president Michael Hurley said in a statement.

Britain's largest construction firm, which employs 20,000 people in the United Kingdom, collapsed yesterday - after issuing a string of profit warnings in recent months.

Employees on public sector contracts will continue to be paid, whereas those on private sector contracts will receive no pay after Wednesday.

In Liverpool, the city's mayor, Joe Anderson, said "solid contingency plans" were in place to ensure the £490m Royal Liverpool University hospital would not be delayed.

The OCHU - the healthcare arm of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario - and Unifor together represent almost 50,000 staff in hospitals across the province.

The Government has also told former Carillion workers already receiving their pensions that they will continue to receive payments. Employing over 43,000 staff worldwide, primarily in the UK, Carillion was at the forefront of many high profile contracts, such as the construction of the HS2 high-speed railway project and the running of 50 prisons in the UK.

"The position of private sector employees is that they will not be getting the same protection that we're offering to public sector employees, beyond a 48-hour period of grace", Lidington said.

City region metro mayor Steve Rotheram said the liquidation of one of the country's largest contractors "raises some very hard questions around what happens to the many publically-funded contracts, including construction of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital and elements of HS2, that it will now be unable to honour".

The worker, who said he learned the firm had gone into liquidation from its Facebook page, added he will get paid for this week and next but after that did not know what would happen.

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Carillion announced its immediate liquidation on Monday after the heavily-indebted British contractor failed to secure a financial rescue from the United Kingdom government or banks in last-ditch talks.

Concerns have also centred on former Carillion chief executive Richard Howson, who pocketed £1.5 million in salary, bonuses and pension payments during 2016.

But it's too late for Carillion, which ran its affairs in a helter-skelter, irresponsible manner, yet still managed to keep the Government on side until the very end.

September 29, 2017 - Carillion had its second profit warning in 2017 and said it may need to sell shares to shore up its balance sheet.

Carillion was once valued above £2b but the revelations about its rising debt sparked a crisis in July a year ago when it issued a profit warning, suspended its dividend, and said key contracts were losing money as debt rose.

The company is the embodiment of the privatisation agenda carried out by successive Tory and Labour governments through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Partner Partnership schemes.

Lidington said he would not pre-empt the receiver's review but noted that "severe penalties" could be imposed if misconduct was found.

Locally it was responsible for services contracts and some station improvements for train operator Northern, some of the electrification upgrades to the lines for Network Rail and was due to take up service contracts at Weeton and Fulwood Barracks for the MOD.

"It's going to be short-term pain for some of our workers but we are a busy company, we have contracts coming in - we've just won a big new hotel - but that doesn't start for a few weeks".

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