8 Days Remaining

Thursday 21st
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

UNIONS are seeking an urgent meeting with Mitie bosses after the outsourcing giant announced a major jobs cull yesterday.

The company confirmed that about 480 jobs are to be axed by next March following a string of recent profit warnings.

However, general union Unite, which has more than 1,000 members working at Mitie, said it would leave a “sour taste in the mouth” if workers were made to pay the price for company bosses’ poor financial management.

Mitie, which employs 53,000 people in a range of services, including security, cleaning and healthcare, blamed rising costs and the impact of Brexit for its poor financial performance.

The company announced 200 job losses in May this year and said that costs relating to its turnaround drive were “greater than previously anticipated.”

Mitie is also considering the sale of its property management business as part of a wider strategic review and claims to have received offers from interested parties.

The company is currently under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority regarding a 2016 profit warning and the way it presents profit information.

The Financial Reporting Council is also investigating accountancy firm Deloitte’s auditing of Mitie’s books.

Mitie posted a £58.2 million loss due to £88.3m of one-off costs, although the latest figures show a better-than-projected £1.1 billion in revenue for the first six months, up 4 per cent on the previous year.

Mitie acting chief executive Peter Dickinson said the growth figures were encouraging and the company’s turnaround plan was starting to show results.

The plans will see Mitie shut its defined benefit pension scheme from November, a step which it says will save £850,000 per year.

Unite national officer Rhys McCartney said the union was seeking an urgent meeting with bosses to discuss the implications of yesterday’s announcement and the impact of job cuts.

“It is clear that Mitie has managerial problems at the top that have been brewing for some time and the investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority relating to a 2016 profit warning does not engender confidence,” he said.

“We hope that workers are not paying for their jobs because of poor decision-making by senior management and questions over financial auditing. It would leave a sour taste in the mouth if they were.”