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Industrial Merseyside NHS trust boss accused of snubbing maintenance workers

THE boss of a Merseyside NHS hospitals’ trust has been accused of snubbing more than 50 maintenance workers whose jobs are threatened by the collapse of contractor Carillion.

Unite the union says that Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, has refused to meet union representatives over the workers’ future.

The union has called for the maintenance work to be taken back in-house. Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “These workers are in an employment limbo through no fault of their own — they are the victims of the feral capitalism that was the cause of Carillion’s dramatic collapse.

“The fact that highly paid NHS boss Aidan Kehoe is unable to meet Unite to discuss the future of this group of hardworking maintenance staff is a disgrace and a snub.

“The mature and sensible way forward would for the trust to take these jobs back in-house.”

The trust denies the allegation. A spokeswoman said: “We haven’t refused to meet with Unite and the chief executive is meeting with various trade unions, including Unite, later this month.

“Facilities management staff have had the opportunity to talk to the chief executive directly at our monthly face-to-face brief with staff and we are doing everything we can to ensure they are kept up to date.”

She said a new company was being set up to take over the maintenance work.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the liquidation of Carillion has delayed the opening of the new £335 million Royal Liverpool Hospital building, with Mr Kehoe having said it is unlikely to be finished this year.

The 646-bed hospital was first due to open in March 2017 but the project was repeatedly delayed after asbestos was found on site, while remedial building work was also needed.

Liverpool Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman has previously stated the hospital was “around 90 per cent complete.”

Construction giant Carillion collapsed last month with debts of about £1.5 billion.

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