GMB members travel to South Coast to offer solidarity with bullied workers

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GMB members involved in the long-running industrial dispute with Carillion in Swindon are today staging a protest in Portsmouth.

Staff at the city’s Queen Alexandra Hospital have reported bullying by Carillion supervisors – a mirror of the problem in Swindon, leading to workers taking 21 days of strike action. They are also angry over the persistent failure of Carillion management to deal with evidence of bribery and corruption, evidence that was covered up for some years.

The workers will be demonstrating outside the hospital at 11am.

GMB regional secretary Paul Maloney said:  “We’re not anywhere near resolving the dispute at Swindon. The company has yet to meet us, but trade unions know that standing up to bullies works. That is the message that we want to share with Carillion’s staff at the Portsmouth hospital.

“We know that Carillion’s own investigation, forced on it by GMB members taking strike action, found that there was evidence of shakedowns and corruptions by their managers in Swindon demanding ‘gold for employment rights’.

“Carillion has failed to deal with managers who covered this up for years. Instead Carillion disciplined the victims of corruption and found them guilty of being shaken down. GMB is appealing this absurd finding.

“During the dispute it emerged that Liz Keates, a senior Carillion HR manager, was also involved in blacklisting by Carillion of 224 construction workers across the UK. Carillion used the blacklist register nearly 15,000 times over 4 years underlining that a culture of illegal corporate bullying is endemic, systemic and deep rooted in Carillion and showing that that the way GMB members were victimized at Swindon is not out of character with the company culture.

“This is the same Carillion that has public sector contracts valued at more than £15 billion in the UK but seems to think that it does not need to meet the standards of behaviour that are acceptable to the public to be awarded these contracts.

“GMB is calling on MPs and councillors to support the demand that blacklisting companies like Carillion should be boycotted from future contracts until they apologise and compensate victims who have fallen foul of their illegal activities and of racist behaviour. Public sector bodies should not do business with companies that fail to deal with illegal corporate bullying and racism.

“GMB is campaigning for councils up and down the land to adopt this approach wherever Carillion is seeking to win taxpayer funded contracts, some in cities like Liverpool where it has victimised dozens of local people searching for a job.”

You can read about the Swindon dispute here.

 


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