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GMB Makes FOI Demand To Scotland Yard Over Blacklisting

Monday, April 9, 2018

GMB MAKES FOI DEMAND TO SCOTLAND YARD FOR INTERNAL REPORT INTO MET’S ROLE IN BLACKLISTING SCANDAL

3,213 secretly blacklisted construction workers and environmentalists deserve to know exactly what role the police played says GMB.

GMB, the union for construction workers, has called on Scotland Yard to release its internal investigation into the secret blacklisting of 3,213 construction workers and environmentalist by household name companies including Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci. 

Lawyers Leigh Day, acting for GMB, have filed a Freedom of Information request for the Met Police’s full internal investigation report, all emails relating to the report and details of overt and covert meetings between officers and members of blacklisting organisations. [1]

In a letter last month, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Richard Martin, admitted: “Police, including Special Branches, supplied information that appeared on the Blacklist, funded by the country's major construction firms.

“The report concludes that, on the balance of probabilities, the allegation that the police or Special Branches supplied information is 'proven'.   

“Material revealed a potentially improper flow of information from Special Branch to external organisations, which ultimately appeared on the blacklist." [2]

Blacklisting came to light in 2009 when the ICO seized a database from an organisation called The Consulting Association with details of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists, used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. [See note 3 for a regional breakdown of blacklisted workers]

GMB brought the first blacklisting cases in the High Court in November 2013 [4] and organised the ‘Crocodile Tears’ protests at locations across the UK to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters, who have still to come clean and apologise for their actions. [5]

In 2016, on behalf of the 44 companies involved, eight firms (Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci) paid total compensation for 771 claimants of blacklisting totalling £75m, including legal costs on both sides estimated at £25m.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“3,213 secretly blacklisted construction workers and environmentalists deserve to know exactly what role the police played in supplying information about them to the construction companies.  

“They have a right to know who, what, where, when and why information was shared between the police and the construction companies.  

“There is a clear public interest in this information being provided.

“GMB was the first union to lodge High Court claims for those blacklisted and the first to call for a Public Inquiry, something that is still required and long overdue.  

“It is now time for Scotland Yard to make public everything that they did and come clean about their part in the greatest employment scandal of the past 50 years.”

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351; or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors

[1] Contact GMB press office for a copy of FOI request

[2] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/blacklisting-constitutional-crisis

[3] See below list and map attached for regional breakdown of blacklisted workers

Location

Number on the blacklist

 

Location

Number on the blacklist

 

 

Aberdeen City

14

 

Kent

95

Aberdeenshire

54

 

Kingston upon Hull

62

Anglesey

3

 

Lancashire

60

Angus

5

 

Leeds

53

Argyll & Bute

7

 

Leicestershire

5

Bath and North East Somerset

1

 

Lincolnshire

13

Bedfordshire

4

 

Manchester

183

Berkshire

2

 

Merseyside

173

Birmingham

69

 

Midlothian

3

Bristol

25

 

Monmouthshire

9

Buckinghamshire

20

 

Norfolk

7

Cambridgeshire

12

 

North Ayrshire

67

Cardiff

10

 

North Lanarkshire

22

Ceredigion

9

 

North Yorkshire

12

Cheshire

64

 

Northamptonshire

14

City of London

454

 

Northern Ireland

1

Clackmannanshire

3

 

Northumberland

7

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

3

 

Nottinghamshire

12

Cumbria

27

 

Orkney Islands

1

Denbighshire

34

 

Oxfordshire

8

Derbyshire

16

 

Perth & Kinross

2

Devon

19

 

Powys

2

Dorset

8

 

Redcar and Cleveland

43

Dumfries & Galloway

6

 

Renfrewshire

15

Dundee City

21

 

Rhondda Cynon Taf

2

Durham

11

 

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

3

East Ayrshire

18

 

Rotherham

56

East Lothian

1

 

Shropshire

2

East Riding of Yorkshire

16

 

Somerset

5

East Sussex

8

 

South Lanarkshire

16

Edinburgh, City of

52

 

Southern Ireland

1

Essex

57

 

Staffordshire

16

Falkirk

35

 

Stirling

7

Fife

24

 

Suffolk

9

Glasgow City

140

 

Surrey

32

Gloucestershire

32

 

Swansea

15

Gwynedd

12

 

Tyne & Wear

69

Hampshire

50

 

Warwickshire

1

Hereford & Worcester

3

 

West Dunbartonshire

8

Hertfordshire

14

 

West Lothian

12

Highland

15

 

West Sussex

11

Inverclyde

26

 

Wiltshire

5

Isle of Wight

1

 

Wokingham

10

[4] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/blacklisting-claims-in-high-court

[5] http://www.gmb.org.uk/campaigns/blacklisting

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