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Blacklisting Talks On Brink Of Breakdown

Monday, June 2, 2014

Compensation Talks On Brink Of Breakdown Over Amount Being Offered By Eight Construction Firms To 3,213 Blacklisted Workers

Total offer of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people and the colossal invasion of their privacy says GMB.

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

Progress had been made on the shape of the compensation process. However talks are now 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. This is 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

 

 

revenue

profit before tax

 

 

£m

£m

Balfour Beatty plc

 

10,118

187.0

Carillion

 

3,332.6

174.7

Costain

 

960

31.0

Kier Group plc

 

1,983

63.4

Laing O'Rourke

 

3,566.9

77.9

Sir Robert McAlpine1

 

769.3

20.5

Skanska AB2

 

12,428.6

484.4

Vinci plc3

 

1,056.8

4.9

Subtotal

 

34,215.2

1,043.8

 

 

 

 

AMEC plc

 

3,974.0

255

Amey Construction7

 

1.8

0.3

Bam Construction4

 

837.9

11.3

Bam Nuttall4

 

730.1

18.1

EMCOR Group5

 

339.9

6.7

Galliford Try plc

 

1,467.0

74.1

Hardwicke Investments Ltd

 

1,034.0

8.9

Morgan Sindall Group plc

 

2,094.9

13.9

NG Bailey Group Ltd

 

421.6

-10.1

Renew Holdings

 

334.6

10.7

Shepherd Building Group Ltd

 

748.0

13

SPIE6

 

182.5

-17.4

Sunley Holdings plc

 

11.1

0.9

Taylor Wimpey plc

 

2,295.5

268.4

The Miller Group

 

817.3

14.4

Diamond Construction & Engineering Recruitment Ltd

 

abbreviated accounts only

Al Rushaid Investment Co

 

 

 

Samsung Construction and Trading

 

 

 

Subtotal

 

4,389.0

290.0

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

38,604.2

1,333.8

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “The GMB Central Executive Council has been updated on progress in the talks which are now on the brink of breaking down.

GMB consider that the main stumbling block is the amount of compensation being offered to the victims of blacklisting in whatever form that took.

The total current cash envelope for fast track compensation we estimate is between £15m and £20m. That is less than £3m per company.

This is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people in their working lives and the colossal invasion of their privacy.

This compensation offer is not an act of contrition it is a PR stunt. My advice is that the companies should get serious and make proper restitution and close the book on this shameful chapter. 

The eight companies between them have a turnover of over £34 billion and pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion. The talks should not break down over the size of the cash envelope. The employers have to own up, clean up and pay up.”

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 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

 

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

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

 

 

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