CARILLION says claims by the union GMB that evidence of bribery and shakedowns have been uncovered as part of their investigation into alleged bullying are riddled with inaccuracies.

GMB, representing a group of workers in the housekeeping department employed by Carillion at the Great Western Hospital, claim that a letter sent to individual members stated that they had uncovered evidence of bribery and shakedowns among staff at the GWH.

However, Carillion believe the GMB’s statement is part of a deliberate campaign to sow confusion among employees.

Carillion was forced to respond to the claims yesterday after GMB regional secretary Paul Maloney said the investigation into the collective grievance over allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination had been a failure. He said: “Carillion has finally, after five months, uncovered evidence of bribery and shakedowns at the Swindon hospital PFI contract.

“However, Carillion have yet to make arrangements to communicate the results to GMB or the elected shop stewards, or set up meetings with GMB to deal with the findings of the investigations.

“I am profoundly disappointed that this second investigation has completely failed to deal with what has been 18 months of covering up of evidence of bribery and shakedowns by managers of these employees.

“The investigation has failed to identify or deal with the managers who presided over this cover up.”

A spokesman for Carillion said this was part of GMB’s attempt to force Carillion and its two recognised union partners, UNISON and Unite, to recognise them.

He said: “The GMB’s inaccuracies include inflating by almost 15 per cent the numbers of employees lodging a grievance. The actual number is 132, not 150.

“Similarly, there is only one investigation, not two of them. The words ‘shake down’ imply extortion which has not, insofar as we know, formed any part of any grievance to date.

“It is untrue to say that Carillion told employees that their grievances would not be upheld. Carillion has not been found guilty of blacklisting.

“We have been holding direct and productive discussions all this week with our 398 staff in both English, and Konkani, the native Goan language.

“Our priority has been to update our employees directly as the investigation progresses and to help them understand our policies.

“Provided we have no further disruption to the investigation from stoppages, we have undertaken to conclude our collective grievance investigation and announce findings to staff by the end of May.

“If this milestone is achieved, we will then be able to finish reporting back on all individual grievances by the end of June.

“We would ask the GMB to play its part responsibly – it is welcome, for instance, to represent individuals in grievance meetings – but it must stop this disruptive behaviour which is so misleading.

“The fact is we are working hard to address concerns put to us; we have acknowledged that there are issues to address and appropriate action will be taken.

“To say otherwise is plainly false and extremely irresponsible when members are looking to the GMB for advice.”