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Blacklisters Acting In Bad Faith Say MPs

Friday, March 27, 2015

GMB Welcome Report Of Scottish Affairs Committee Slating “Act Of Bad Faith” On Blacklisting By Carillion And Other Construction Firms

Report clearly reflects how sick to death the MP's of all parties and everyone else is of the construction companies and their arrogant, bully boy attitude says GMB.

GMB commented on the final report on blacklisting from Scottish Affairs Select Committee which says that the unilateral blacklisting compensation scheme from Carillion and seven other construction companies is an “act of bad faith”. See notes to editors 1 for copy of press release from Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized The Consulting Association (TCA) database 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 notes to editors 2 for details of where those blacklisted come from.

The next hearing in the High Court in London to seek compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers is due in May on claims served on 27th November 2013. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at a High Court Hearing in July 2014.

Talks between GMB and lawyers representing construction employers (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC)  on a compensation scheme broke down in June 2014 over the amount of money being put into the scheme. The eight employers are offering less than 2% of their combined profits.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said, "This excellent report is to be welcomed for two key reasons: first, the fact that its very strong recommendations are made on a cross political party basis; second, the clear way it reflects how sick to death the MP's of all parties and everyone else is of the construction companies and their arrogant, bully boy attitude.

The construction companies actions towards those they blacklisted since they got caught shows that they believe they did nothing wrong, membership of the Consulting Association shows how they believed that they were above the law and their attitude towards MP's shows that they believe they are above Parliament.

Strip away the weasel words and crocodile tears from the blacklisting companies and their highly paid entourage of spin doctors and lawyers and the simple truth is that MP's of all political parties involved in the Inquiry into Blacklisting in Employment do not trust the companies to eradicate blacklisting and do not believe they have, or will self-cleanse.

The only way the questions posed by the Scottish Affairs Committee will get answered is from a full Public Inquiry."

End

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

For information on High Court action contact Leigh Day: David Standard 07540 332717 or Michael Newman 0795 223 9358 or Chris Benson on 07795425649.

For people to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on  07840 897997 or email him blacklisted@gmb.org.uk

Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group

Notes to editors

1 Press release from Scottish Affairs Select Committee: Embargo: not for publication or broadcast in any form before 00.01 Friday March 27 2015

UNILATERAL BLACKLISTING COMPENSATION SCHEME AN “ACT OF BAD FAITH” SAYS COMMITTEE

Launch of scheme “misleading, callous and manipulative”

In a report published today, Friday 27 March 2015, Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee says The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) launched by eight of the 30 companies involved in blacklisting was introduced in an “act of bad faith”. It says it is difficult to conclude other than that the publicity around the launch was a deliberate attempt to mislead, and that the implication that the trade unions were in agreement with the scheme is both “callous and manipulative”. The Committee says a voluntary code of conduct to eradicate the practice of blacklisting in the future is insufficient, and a statutory code of practice is required.

Although the Committee is highly critical of the scheme and casts doubt over the motivations behind it, it does acknowledge that it is only those eight companies who set up the scheme - out of the 30 known to have used the services of The Consulting Agency (TCA) that ran the blacklisting service - who have taken any steps at all to remedy the sins of the past.

The Committee identifies a series of flaws in the scheme, including:

  - it was launched without the agreement of the trade unions (and its launch attempted to mask that fact)

- the low levels of compensation being offered

-  the fact that those participating in the High Court litigation are not eligible to access the scheme

 - the scheme’s failure to incorporate any type of positive action measures to upskill and re-employ the victims of blacklisting

Ian Davidson MP, Chair of the Committee, said “The unilateral introduction of a compensation scheme was an act of bad faith by those involved, likely to be motivated by a desire to minimise financial and reputational damage rather than being a genuine attempt to address the crimes of the past.

“To mislead MPs is a serious issue but to mislead blacklisted workers and their families by implying that the trade unions were in agreement with the scheme is both callous and manipulative.

“While we are highly critical of the scheme and the way it was introduced, at least those eight companies have made even this effort. We do not accept the excuses made from the other companies for their non-participation and interpret this as evidence of their unwillingness to self-cleanse.

“Despite the grave flaws in the scheme, our main concern is that the victims of blacklisting receive at least some measure of compensation. The ICO should redouble its efforts to find and contact as many of the individuals whose names who were on the original TCA list as possible–including the families of those blacklisted workers who may have passed away.

“Given the denial and duplicitous practices we have encountered on the part of many of the companies who were complicit in blacklisting, we have no confidence in the sector to either self-cleanse on a voluntary basis nor to take sufficiently robust steps to eradicate the practice of blacklisting in the future. A voluntary code of conduct for pre-employment vetting in the construction company will not be sufficient. We must have a statutory with those firms who have refused to self-cleanse being banned from all contracts funded, in whole or in part, by public money code of practice.

“Despite the progress and positive steps which have been taken during the course of our inquiry, in this final report we have identified that many questions in relation to the practice of blacklisting remain unanswered, including the recent allegations in relation to police and security service involvement in blacklisting in the construction and other sectors.  We are specifically concerned as to whether the extent and breadth of the practice is fully known, and whether this odious practice is ongoing within the construction industry. We are convinced that the only way to fully answer these questions is through a full Public Inquiry and we recommend that the Government take immediate steps to launch one.”/ENDS

Notes:
Media Enquiries to Jessica Bridges-Palmer: 020 7219 0724 / 07917 488 489 / bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk<mailto:bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk>

Committee Membership is as follows: Mr Ian Davidson MP (Lab/Co-op, Glasgow South West) (Chair), Mike Crockart MP (Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West), Jim McGovern MP (Lab, Dundee West), Graeme Morrice MP (Lab, Livingston), Pamela Nash MP (Lab, Airdrie and Shotts), Sir Jim Paice MP (Con, South East Cambridgeshire) Simon Reevell MP (Con, Dewsbury), Mr Alan Reid MP (LD, Argyll and Bute), Lindsay Roy MP (Lab, Glenrothes), and Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP (SNP, Banff and Buchan)

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer: 020 7219 0724 / 07917 488 489
Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/scotaffcom
 

2 Where blacklisted workers came from.

Blacklisted workers – number in each area

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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