12 Jan 2018
GMB call on living wage foundation to expel nationwide building society’s Stephen Uden from advisory board over links with Carillon .
Nationwide don’t want to get their own hands dirty, but are happy for Carillion to do so on their behalf, says GMB Southern
GMB, the trade union for cleaners and security staff working at Nationwide Building Society, calls on the Living Wage Foundation to expel Stephen Uden, of the Nationwide Building Society from its advisory board, over Nationwide’s links with the unethical and troubled business, Carillion. [See notes to editors for previous GMB releases and articles on Carillion]
GMB has today written to every individual member of the Living Wage Foundation’s advisory board, asking that they challenge the presence of a representative of Nationwide Building Society on their board, because Nationwide’s contractor Carillion, continually seeks to attack and undermine the pay and terms and conditions of cleaners, employed on the Nationwide Building Society contract.
Andy Newman, GMB Branch Secretary for Wiltshire and Swindon said:
“GMB’s view is that the protestations of Nationwide to be an ethical employer, and indeed an ethical business, are undermined by contracting cleaning and security services to Carillion, who are an unethical company with a track record of exploitation and sharp practice. This allows Nationwide to absolve itself of responsibility for the welfare of the most vulnerable employees providing services to them.
“GMB has brought the poor management, bullying and exploitation of cleaners to the attention of Nationwide so often that we conclude that turning a blind eye to the abuse is deliberate policy from Nationwide, and therefore Nationwide’s ethical stances are hypocritical window dressing. Nationwide don’t want to get their own hands dirty, but are happy for Carillion to do so on their behalf.
“Carillion revealed the truth of the relationship only this week when they confirmed to GMB, at Director level, that recent cuts to overtime rates which were introduced by Carillion for staff on the Nationwide contract through an unlawful breach of contract, have only been temporarily suspended following GMB’s protests, as Carillion do not have the authority to permanently reverse the pay cut without Nationwide Building Society’s authority. The change led to cleaners being short changed on their overtime pay in the weeks coming up to Christmas.
“GMB believes that Nationwide Building Society are hypocrites and charlatans, whose association with the Living Wage Foundation allows them to present themselves with the image of being ethical, when the reality of their business is that they have sought to frustrate the meaningful implantation of the living wage for cleaners at their own head office.
“Carillion originally sought to offset the cost of introducing the living wage by cuts to hours for cleaners, and reorganisation so that most cleaners would actually have lost money. Despite the public stance of nationwide Building Society to be supportive of the Living Wage Carillion at that time issued a letter to their employees confirming that the reorganisation and effective pay cut was specifically at the request of the client (Nationwide) and Nationwide’s logo was in the letter heading.
“That reorganisation and pay cut was only averted when GMB members working for Carillion proceeded with a strike ballot, and it is our experience that Carillion adopts a very aggressive form of management preferring confrontation to dialogue, and only backs down when there is a strike threat. GMB has continually challenged Nationwide about the outdated and confrontational approval to industrial relations by Carillion on their contract, and GMB’s understanding is that Carillion are acting at the behest of Nationwide.
“Another recent introduction from Carillion is a requirement that cleaners should be actively cleaning on the floor where they work until the minute that their shift ends, and then be required to walk to clock out in their own time. GMB regards this as an unethical employment practice, and has a particularly unfortunate impact on cleaners at Nationwide’s head office, who often miss their bus home.”
Contact: Andy Newman 0754 0859 227 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762
Notes for Editors
GMB Press Releases
1] GMB Demands that Nationwide Building Society comes clean over cuts to cleaners pay (21 Apr 2016) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/nationwide-should-come-clean/
2] GMB welcome Nationwide pay cut U-turn (26 Apr 2016) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/gmb-welcome-nationwide-pay-cut-u-turn/
3] GMB protest at Nationwide HQ (30 Jun 2016) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/gmb-protest-at-nationwide-hq/
4] GMB ballots cleaners at Nationwide (05 Aug 2016) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/gmb-ballots-cleaners-at-nationwide/
Articles on Carillion
1] City A.M – Carillion shares drop as it faces investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over company announcements (3 Jan 2018)
2] Qatar 2022: Construction firms accused amid building boom http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30295183 (Dec 8 2014)