More than £31 million has been paid out in redundancies to thousands of workers caught up in the collapse of engineering giant Carillion, new research reveals.
A study by the GMB union found that 6,690 former employees have made a claim for redundancy.
A total of £31.2 million has been paid to claimants, with the taxpayer picking up the bill, said GMB general secretary Tim Roache.
He told the union's annual conference in Brighton: "Bosses were in bed with the Tories, giving huge pay cheques to themselves as the company failed and thousands of people made redundant.
"As a union we don't accept that's how the world should work.
"So far, we know that nearly 7,000 people have made redundancy claims, costing the taxpayer over £30 million.
"Those workers deserve every penny and more. They have already lost 10% of their pension and any enhanced redundancy rights because of their bosses' failures, over 1,000 jobs have simply ceased too exist.
"Those workers, and you and me as taxpayers, should never have been in that position in the first place."