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Blacklisters Out Of Sunderland

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

GMB Call On Sunderland Council To Kick Out Blacklist Bidders For Consortium As High Court Action To Compensate North East Workers Starts Today (27 Nov)

Carillion and Kier seeking partnership have admitted being involved in blacklisting but no recompense has been given for the blight on the lives of people and their families many of whom are in the North East.

GMB is calling on a meeting of City of Sunderland Council's Cabinet on Wednesday (27th November) to kick out bidders with a history of blacklisting to become partners with the council in a new venture to develop the city.

This comes on the same day as GMB starts action in the High Court to seek compensation to up to 100 members who were the victims of blacklisting. Seven are from the North East.

Sunderland Cabinet are considering a report on the appointment of the Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) partner and the subsequent establishment of a Sunderland Delivery Vehicle (SDV). The Cabinet Report sets out the three remaining preferred bidders left in the race to be the LABV partner. These include two Consortia and a PLC and include Carillion and Kier which have admitted blacklisting.

On 27th November particulars of claim will be served by Leigh Day in the High Court in the GMB legal action against Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine for blacklisting GMB members A further hearing is due on 29th November, in front of the Senior Master, to make a decision about a group litigation order.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association 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. 2,767 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist are not aware that their names are on the blacklist after the ICO decided not to contact them directly.

GMB has contacted councils and councillors across the UK about the practice of blacklisting and many including Redcar and Cleveland, Newcastle City Councils in has  approved council motions against blacklisting and in the process asked council officers to investigate ways that council contracts can be reviewed, rescinded or exclusion clauses built in for known blacklisters.

Chris Preston, GMB Regional Organiser for Sunderland City Council, said “Let us be perfectly clear. Sunderland has been hit particularly hard by the recession, the massive drop in market conditions and the brutality of the Coalition Government's austerity cutbacks, all of which disproportionately impact on areas like Sunderland.

In addition you don't have to be a genius to know that Sunderland needs investment, just drive around or walk around. Many other areas are the same”.

GMB however has highlighted the potential use, of companies involved in blacklisting, by the council in such a massive project that will perhaps set the agenda for Sunderland.

Companies like Carillion and Kier have admitted being involved in blacklisting but no recompense has been given for the blight on the lives of people and their families many of whom are in the North East. Blacklisting is a scourge. People have been blacklisted for asking basic questions such as on health and safety. Companies have connived to place people on a nationwide blacklist. Scandalous.

It is significant that Sunderland Council have not engaged in debating blacklisting. It is highly regrettable that the LABV process appears to have in it no safeguards or sanctions for being involved in the absolutely disgraceful practice of blacklisting. Other councils have stood up and been counted. Why can't Sunderland?”

Ends

Contact Chris Preston 07870 176 731 or Chris Jukes 07870 176733 or 0191 514 2634 or 0191 233 3930  GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

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