As the fallout from the collapse of construction services giant Carillion continues, there is some peace of mind for Carillion employees on Network Rail projects, as they have been told that their wages will be guaranteed until at least mid- April.
The Official Receiver’s special managers, PwC and Network Rail have agreed that PwC will pay employees’ wages for work carried out until beyond Easter. The arrangement also ensures that rail employees are paid as normal this month.
Funding has also been secured to allow any suppliers to Carillion to be paid by PwC for work supporting Network Rail projects from Monday 15th January onwards.
In a statement, Network Rail said:
“Carillion Construction employees working on Network Rail projects are encouraged to turn up for work as normal and continue to deliver their rail work and projects, secure in the knowledge that they will be paid by PwC for the work they do.”
The general secretary of the RMT union, Mick Cash, welcomed the announcement but called for a clear and long-term solution for their members. He said:
“This is at least some respite for our members after a traumatic week. However, there is no commitment on sub-contractors’ wages and no commitment as to whether directly employed staff or sub-contractors who worked throughout Christmas and New Year will receive those payments.”
“The cash has already been paid over to Carillion but no promise to pay the workers has been given and that needs to be sorted out urgently”.
In a joint statement, PwC and Network rail pledged that they “will continue to work closely on proposals for the future treatment of contracts, staff and suppliers to ensure the continued delivery of these important projects.”
Carillion filed for liquidation a week ago, after eleventh-hour talks with the government and lenders were unsuccessful. The company employed 43,000 people, 20,000 of which are in the UK, and had work across a number of high-profile construction and transport projects, including the HS2 rail link.
Transport secretary Chris Graying has already confirmed that Kier and Eiffage, the other firms involved in the HS2 joint venture, would be taking over responsibility so that work on the project could “continue uninterrupted”.
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