Company refuses to acknowledge discrimination that has lead to 21 days’ strike action
Talks at ACAS to resolve the long-running dispute between Carillion and the GMB in Swindon have collapsed.
GMB members have so far taken 21 days’ strike action over allegations of bullying and harassment of staff at the town’s hospital.
GMB national officer Maria Ludkin said: “Carillion missed a golden opportunity to rectify the wrongs done by managers on their Swindon PFI contract. They chose instead to once again try to cover up the disgraceful events at Swindon.
“This is why talks between GMB and Carillion at ACAS today, to try to resolve the long running dispute at Swindon Hospital, have collapsed. Despite Carillion requesting the talks, they refused to acknowledge the continued discrimination and victimisation of employees, which has so far resulted in fifty seven cases filed against Carillion in the employment tribunal. Carillion also tried to propose that the cases should be assessed through a confidential process outside of the legal system, in order to continue the on-going cover up.
“We came to ACAS ready to find a resolution to this dispute which would address our member’s cases and concerns. Unfortunately Carillion did not want to be part of the clean-up, and remain committed to the cover up.
“We will now pursue our cases through the courts where we are extremely confident of a just resolution.
“The history of Carillion, and the companies which came together to make it up, is riven with a culture of corporate bullying that is endemic, systemic and deeply rooted. Until those running Carillion come to terms with the legacy exposed by GMB, and deal with it head on, this culture will persist no matter how much those at the top try to convince themselves and the outside world otherwise.
“The victims of this culture at Swindon must have the union representation of their choice as must GMB members at NHS facilities in Liverpool and Bristol and other sites Carillion is seeking to run. Carillion must apologise to and compensate all 224 workers the Carillion group blacklisted. Until all this happens there will be no end to this dispute”
Shah Qureshi, head of employment law at Bindmans, said “ We are extremely disappointed that despite asking for conciliation through ACAS, Carillion has refused to engage with the real issues in this case: namely resolving a dispute involving widespread allegations of systematic discrimination, bullying and harrassment of Asian workers.”
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