GMB has called for a national debate and urgent reform in light of the “damning evidence” given by Carillion directors in a parliamentary inquiry earlier this week.
Carillion’s directors were accused of ignoring concerns regarding the health of its pension scheme for at least five years in evidence published ahead of their appearance at a parliamentary select committee.
The evidence included a paper prepared for Carillion’s pension board in 2012 by advisors Gazelle Corporate Finance which suggested the company was more focused on “repaying acquisition debt, a progressive dividend policy and equity into PPP projects” that it was on paying into the pension scheme.
The paper also identified “business risks” which it described as a “potential future concern” and suggested Carillion needed a longer plan than the ten years plan it had in place.
In a separate paper in 2013, Gazelle said that the “relative disparity on the outlook presented to the City compared to pension stakeholders”.
GMB responded to the evidence produced at the select committee hearings, calling for urgent reforms.
GMB General Secretary Tim Roache, said:
This is damning evidence that despite all the flashing red dashboard lights the interests of Carillion workers’ pensions were the last thing on directors’ minds.
It is morally wrong that lining the pockets of shareholders comes ahead of honouring the promises made to workers’ pensions and their hard earned security in retirement.
We need an urgent national debate on how best to reform the law to prevent city spivs from neglecting their duty to their workers.
Carillion staff – as well as the public at large – now look certain to pay the price for the company’s recklessness.