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Fears bypass workers among redundancies at collapsed firm Carillion

A section of the AWPR near Kingswells.
A section of the AWPR near Kingswells.

Workers on Aberdeen’s long-awaited western bypass were left “dazed and confused” last night amid reports that several had been made redundant.

Some north-east-based employees of construction giant Carillion were feared to be among hundreds across the UK to be told yesterday that they had lost their jobs.

Britain’s second largest building firm went into liquidation last month, plunging the completion date for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) into uncertainty.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown told a Holyrood committee last week that about half of Carillion’s 76 directly-employed AWPR workers had been transferred to the other two consortium partners on the project, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, and that there was a “strong expectation that far more will be taken on”.

He previously said that about 190 other staff, including those from agencies, were involved in the remaining stages of the bypass scheme.

The Unite trade union held crisis talks with affected workers at a series of meetings across Scotland yesterday, including in Aberdeen.

It said there had been about 30 redundances in Scotland so far, with notices given yesterday to staff on the bypass project.

Speaking after the Aberdeen meeting, local official John Clark said he had been told of workers who had lost their jobs at 11am yesterday.

He said: “They are angry, I think that’s all that people would expect.

“It’s much the same here as everywhere else. We’re just concerned that the trickle might turn into a flood.

“People are probably still dazed and confused. It’s three weeks since Carillion collapsed and really all the Carillion employees are still in the dark.”

Across Britain, 377 redundancies at the collapsed group were confirmed yesterday, with a further 919 jobs protected.

The official receiver’s spokesman said: “I am expecting many employees working on other Carillion contracts to transfer in the coming weeks and we are continuing to keep the workforce updated as these arrangements are finalised.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Balfour Beatty and Morrison Construction will make offers of employment to Carillion staff on the AWPR project where there is a position available or necessary to allow the project to continue.

“We understand that a number of offers have already been made which have either been accepted or are under consideration.

“This consultation process commenced following the announcement last month and is ongoing. Until it is complete, we will not be in a position to comment further.

“It should also be noted, however, that AWPR construction joint venture already had a demobilisation plan in place, and that it may not be possible to accommodate all affected employees.”

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