15th March 2019, 15:26
The UK Government contractor Interserve, which employs people in Gibraltar for the Ministry of Defence, is set to go into administration.
Unite Gibraltar says it's confident of a solution locally, while the Government says it's working to ensure Interserve'slocal employees will be protected.
The news that Interserve was set to go into administration came after shareholders refused to approve financial restructuring plans to rescue the company, after an emergency meeting.
Interserve employs 65,000 people globally, and is a contractor for the MoD. It employs around 200 people in Gibraltar.
According to the Guardian, Interserve will go into a so-called "pre-pack administration", which means the company can continue trading.
Interserveis quoted as saying this should ensure no disruption to the key public services it manages for the Government.
In a statement, the Gibraltar Government said it will work with the MoDand Unite to ensure that there would not be any detrimental effects on Interserve's employees in Gibraltar, or the service provided in Gibraltar to the MoD.
The UK's Cabinet Office said the announcement "will not affect jobs or the provision of public services delivered by Interserve". It adds it is in close contact with the company and is "confident a positive way forward will be found".
Unite Branch Coordinator Christian Duo confirmed to GBC that the Gibraltar branch of the union is in discussions with the MoD and the Government, and is confident of a solution at a local level.
Unite UK says it is demanding an urgent meeting with Ernst Young, Interserve's administrators, and expects to be fully consulted on any potential transfers to new companies. It says since the collapse last year of another Government contractor, Carillion, it is been warning that similar corporate collapses were inevitable without government action. The union says this is the latest example of "bandit capitalism", demonstrating that the government's outsourcing business model is smashed beyond repair.