GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

Blacklisting Compensation Not Enough

Friday, July 4, 2014

GMB Reacts With Scorn Over Inadequate Fast Track Payment Of £4,000 To £20,00 Being Put Into Blacklisting Compensation Scheme By Construction Firms

These construction companies lied and spied and this is the paltry price they place on fifteen years of blacklisting says GMB.

Talks between GMB and lawyers representing construction employers on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down over the inadequate amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers.

Progress had been made on the shape of the compensation process. However talks became deadlocked with the employers proposing a cost envelope for the fast track compensation scheme that GMB estimates will cost these employers between £15m and £20m, less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms in the talks. See table below for revenues and profits for 2013 for all the blacklisting firms.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the 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.

In October 2013 eight blacklisting companies (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) announced that they were setting up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) to compensate the victims they blacklisted. Pinsents Masons represent the eight blacklisting companies. GMB has been in talks with them on the scheme.

So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on blacklist. 467 were identified by themselves on by their unions. Several hundred of these 467 are covered by claims in the High Court. ICO contacted direct a further 1,257 and of these 776 has now been sent a copy of their files. That leaves 1,489 still to trace. On 15th April the ICO said: “We don’t plan to write out to any more people, as we believe we’ve written to everyone who we can be sure of having up-to-date details for.” See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

On 27th November 2013 particulars of claim were served in the High Court in the GMB legal action against Carillion and other for blacklisting GMB members. The next hearing is due on 10 July.

BLACKLISTING FIRMS REVENUES AND PRE TAX PROFITS

 

 

revenueprofit before tax

 

 

£m£m

Balfour Beatty plc

 

10,118187.0

Carillion

 

3,332.6174.7

Costain

 

96031.0

Kier Group plc

 

1,98363.4

Laing O'Rourke

 

3,566.977.9

Sir Robert McAlpine1

 

769.320.5

Skanska AB2

 

12,428.6484.4

Vinci plc3

 

1,056.84.9

Subtotal

 

34,215.21,043.8

 

 

 

AMEC plc

 

3,974.0255

Amey Construction7

 

1.80.3

Bam Construction4

 

837.911.3

Bam Nuttall4

 

730.118.1

EMCOR Group5

 

339.96.7

Galliford Try plc

 

1,467.074.1

Hardwicke Investments Ltd

 

1,034.08.9

Morgan Sindall Group plc

 

2,094.913.9

NG Bailey Group Ltd

 

421.6-10.1

Renew Holdings

 

334.610.7

Shepherd Building Group Ltd

 

748.013

SPIE6

 

182.5-17.4

Sunley Holdings plc

 

11.10.9

Taylor Wimpey plc

 

2,295.5268.4

The Miller Group

 

817.314.4

Diamond Construction & Engineering Recruitment Ltd

abbreviated accounts only

Al Rushaid Investment Co

 

 

Samsung Construction and Trading

 

 

Subtotal

 

4,389.0290.0

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

38,604.21,333.8

 

 

 

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said, "To try and present such a grossly inadequate sum of money as meaningful compensation for the devastating damage inflicted on the livelihoods and families of the thousands of people they blacklisted, and for the gross invasion of privacy they committed, suggests they are sorry only that they got caught and saw their corporate reputations dragged through the mud, nothing more.

These construction companies lied and spied and this is the paltry price they place on fifteen years of blacklisting. Their cut price compensation offer is not an act of genuine contrition, it is a PR stunt. Legally represented blacklisted workers are likely to get a much better settlement through the Courts.

The eight companies between them have a turnover of over £34 billion and pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion, they can afford properly to own up, clean up and pay up."

Ends

Contact: Justin Bowden, GMB National officer on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office: 07974 251 823

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 Where blacklisted workers came from.

Blacklisted workers – number in each area

 

 

 

Location

Number on the blacklist

 

LocationNumber on the blacklist

 

 

Aberdeen City

14

 

Kent95

Aberdeenshire

54

 

Kingston upon Hull62

Anglesey

3

 

Lancashire60

Angus

5

 

Leeds53

Argyll & Bute

7

 

Leicestershire5

Bath and North East Somerset

1

 

Lincolnshire13

Bedfordshire

4

 

Manchester183

Berkshire

2

 

Merseyside173

Birmingham

69

 

Midlothian3

Bristol

25

 

Monmouthshire9

Buckinghamshire

20

 

Norfolk7

Cambridgeshire

12

 

North Ayrshire67

Cardiff

10

 

North Lanarkshire22

Ceredigion

9

 

North Yorkshire12

Cheshire

64

 

Northamptonshire14

City of London

454

 

Northern Ireland1

Clackmannanshire

3

 

Northumberland7

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

3

 

Nottinghamshire12

Cumbria

27

 

Orkney Islands1

Denbighshire

34

 

Oxfordshire8

Derbyshire

16

 

Perth & Kinross2

Devon

19

 

Powys2

Dorset

8

 

Redcar and Cleveland43

Dumfries & Galloway

6

 

Renfrewshire15

Dundee City

21

 

Rhondda Cynon Taf2

Durham

11

 

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff3

East Ayrshire

18

 

Rotherham56

East Lothian

1

 

Shropshire2

East Riding of Yorkshire

16

 

Somerset5

East Sussex

8

 

South Lanarkshire16

Edinburgh, City of

52

 

Southern Ireland1

Essex

57

 

Staffordshire16

Falkirk

35

 

Stirling7

Fife

24

 

Suffolk9

Glasgow City

140

 

Surrey32

Gloucestershire

32

 

Swansea15

Gwynedd

12

 

Tyne & Wear69

Hampshire

50

 

Warwickshire1

Hereford & Worcester

3

 

West Dunbartonshire8

Hertfordshire

14

 

West Lothian12

Highland

15

 

West Sussex11

Inverclyde

26

 

Wiltshire5

Isle of Wight

1

 

Wokingham10

2 footnotes to construction firms profits

1 accounts for parent company, Newarthill Ltd

2 converted from Swedish Krona 1SEK = 0.091£

SEK figures Revenue = SEK M 136,488

SEK figures Profit before tax = SEK M 5,320

3 figures for Vinci Construction UK

4 both parent companies now Royal Bam Group NV

5 data for Emcor (UK) Ltd

6 data for SPIE Matthew Hall

7 Parent company Ferrovial with turnover of €8,166m

3 Media announcement from The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme launches
Embargoed until 00:01, 4 July 2014:


The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) announced today that, following eight months of discussions with unions and workers’ representatives, the scheme has now been finalised and is open to applications immediately. The scheme will remain open for two years.
? Providing financial compensation to those whose names were held on The Consulting Association (TCA) records, those whose names were on the Economic League records that were also held by TCA, or the estates of those whose names were     held but who have since died

  • Compensation levels significantly higher than those through the High Court
  • A much faster route to compensation than a lengthy court process
  • Applicants don’t need to prove actual loss to access compensation, nor do they need to prove they have been the victims of unlawful activity
  • Paper-based submissions remove the stress of court appearances
  • Legal costs covered by the scheme – free to applicants
  • A choice of two processes for accessing compensation - fast track and full review
  • Fast track applicants do not need to prove actual loss. Compensation is set at pre-determined levels, starting at £4,000 for those where minimal information was held, and rising to £20,000 where there is evidence that records had been accessed
  • The full review process is an alternative for those where there is evidence their records were accessed and who would prefer a more detailed investigation into their particular circumstances. An adjudicator will assess claims and set compensation up to a maximum of £100,000

The process of engagement with unions and workers’ representatives has been ongoing since November 2013 and, throughout this time the companies have listened to the unions’ views and have made substantial changes to the terms of the scheme in line with their requests.
All eight companies recognise that the activities of TCA were unacceptable and regret their involvement; they are sorry that information was held about individuals and for any hardship suffered as a result. To demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that such activity remains firmly in the past, the companies intend to sign up to the voluntary code of conduct that is being developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to ensure full transparency in pre-employment vetting processes.

The compensation scheme
The scheme provides two options for accessing compensation – fast track and full review. Offering fixed levels of compensation, the fast track is designed for those looking for a fast payment against fixed criteria, or for those where only very basic information was held. Under fast track, successful applicants will receive payments starting at £4,000 when only very basic information, such as a name and region, is held rising to a maximum of £20,000 when there is evidence that the records had been accessed to the applicant’s detriment. Under the fast track process applicants simply need to be able to demonstrate they are the person listed on the records; they do not need to prove loss of earnings as awards are based solely on the information held. Once an applicant knows they are eligible and decides to join the fast track, they will receive their compensation payment within two weeks.

The full review process is an alternative process for those people where there is evidence that their records were accessed and who would prefer a more detailed investigation of their particular circumstances. The full review provides the opportunity to submit evidence of the impact of TCA records on the individual’s employment. These claims will be assessed by Sir Colin McKay, a highly respected retired High Court judge, who is completely independent of TCWCS and the eight companies. Sir Colin McKay will review each application and determine compensation up to a maximum of £100,000 for any individual claimant. Under full review, TCWCS anticipates the assessment of the claim and payment of compensation will be completed within three to six months. This is significantly faster than the High Court process.
Once an applicant has established that their name was held on TCA records, the scheme covers the cost of independent legal advice to help the applicant decide which option, fast track or full review, is best for their particular claim and circumstances. If an applicant already has a claim in the courts and would like to withdraw to join the scheme, TCWCS will also cover reasonable legal costs accrued to date.
The scheme is being run by an independent administration specialist. The application and claims handling process has been made as simple as possible with online, postal and telephone services available.
In addition to compensation payments, the companies are committed to offering refresher training where necessary to ensure that the skills, knowledge and certification of scheme applicants are up to date and provide no impediment to future employment.

Contacting TCWCS or making an initial enquiry
Full details of the terms of the scheme – from the application process to levels of compensation - can be found at www.tcwcs.co.uk. Any construction worker, or the family of a deceased construction worker, who believes they may have been affected by TCA records can download an initial enquiry form which is also available from the TCWCS free-phone helpline on 0800 980 8337. The helpline will be open on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July from 9am-5pm in addition to the normal weekdays opening hours.


Ends


Media enquiries: Rebecca Gudgeon 020 7932 1888 / 020 7932 1858 / 07814 028 559 rebecca.gudgeon@grayling.com


Notes to editors 

  • The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) has been developed and funded by Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC.
  • All of these eight companies have undertaken a thorough review of their HR practices, pre-employment vetting processes and policies around the use of personal data to ensure that any activity that could be interpreted as ‘blacklisting’ is firmly in the past.
  • TCA operated between 1993 and 2009. It was closed in 2009 following a raid by the ICO.
  • TCA held over 3,000 individual records.
  • TCWCS is open to anyone whose name was held on the records of The Consulting Association (TCA), regardless of the level of information held or whether that information was ever accessed.
  • TCWCS is also open to the estates of those whose names were held but who have since died.
  • In addition, the fast track application process is also open to claimants whose names were on the records of the Economic League and were transferred to TCA in 1993, regardless of whether their information was accessed between 1993 and 2009.
  • Broadspire has been appointed to administer the scheme. Broadspire is a specialist administration company that is entirely independent of any of the eight construction companies that have developed and are funding the scheme.
  • Broadspire does not have access to TCA records or any other information on any individual whose name might have appeared on TCA records. The information held on TCA records about an individual will only be available to Broadspire when an applicant signs a form to give it permission to obtain his or her record held by the ICO.
  • GMB, Unite and UCATT have called for the development of a scheme to compensate construction workers whose names were held on TCA records. The eight companies are confident that TCWCS meets the unions’ stated objectives for a compensation scheme.
  • Representatives for TCWCS have been engaging with the unions and workers’ representatives for eight months. During this period substantial changes to the terms of the originally proposed scheme have been made.
  • We are keen to start making payments to workers and their families who may have been affected by TCA in the past. We have undertaken a significant period of engagement with the unions and workers’ representatives and, given the recent    stance of the unions in blocking an application for a Court Order to administer the scheme, we believe there would be no benefit in delaying the launch any further.

 

Share this page
+1