Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have made the right decision and at the same time ensured high quality service provision throughout the locality says GMB.
GMB welcomes the decision by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council not to renew the £5m per year Highways Services contract run by admitted blacklisters, Carillion. The contract started in 2004 and staff will be transferred back to the Council's employment on April 1 2016.
Carillion are one of the companies currently facing a high court trial on 9 May 2016 for illegally putting workers onto a construction industry blacklist.
Blacklisting came to light in 2009 when the Information Commissioner's Office 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. See notes to editors for copies of previous GMB press releases
Of the 3,213 people that are blacklisted, 43 were from Teesside as well as many more from the surrounding areas of North Yorkshire (12 people), Durham (11) and Tyne & Wear (69). There were 3 people from Redcar that have been blacklisted as well as 4 from Stockton, 1 from Guisborough, 1 from Saltburn, 1 from Norton, 2 from Darlington, 11 from Middlesbrough and 18 from Hartlepool. (See notes to editors for details from the blacklist)
Chris Jukes, GMB Regional Organiser, said “The taking back in house of this important service is good news. In an area that has suffered from significant job loss in key sectors, the fact that the Council has chosen to try and get better value for local people by in house provision has to be welcomed. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have made the right decision and at the same time ensured high quality service provision throughout the locality.”
Contact: GMB Regional Organiser Chris Jukes 07966 327971; Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691
Notes to editors
1 A motion was passed by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on Thursday May 30 2013:
A number of construction companies have been challenged about supporting the existence of, and subscribing to, construction industry ‘blacklists’, which detail covertly and potentially illegally gathered information on trade union members in the construction industry. Blacklisting is an unacceptable practice and cannot be condoned. The GMB union is leading a national campaign aimed at forcing those who have been involved in blacklisting to apologise and provide compensation to those who have found it impossible to work in construction as a result of this blacklisting.
The construction industry blacklist was collated by a private consultancy known as the Consulting Association and was then provided at a cost to construction companies as they sought to recruit or avoid new workers. The Information Commissioner has investigated and taken action against the Consulting Association for this practice. Furthermore, the Information Commissioner has taken enforcement action against a number of construction companies based on the evidence recovered from the Consulting Association.
Owing to the concentration of construction activity in and around large conurbations, many of those discriminated against live in these areas and undoubtedly this practice has disadvantaged residents of Redcar and Cleveland.
Given the potential impact on residents of this Borough, the Council resolves to support the GMB campaign and, where permitted by legislation, not to include companies that have been identified as using this information on our approved suppliers list for all future work.
2 Local examples taken from the blacklist files regarding Carillion and associated companies:
A scaffolder from Cleveland blacklisted in 1996 while he was employed at Carillion’s Jubilee Line, Canary Wharf Station job. He was refused work a further 5 times up to 2006 including a refusal by Carillion in December 1998.
An electrician from Guisborough was blacklisted in April 2000 by Balfour Kilpatrick. He had several refusals of work from the blacklisting companies before he applied to Carillion in November 2002.
‘Main contact given details’ and ‘company has not employed’.
An electrician from Hartlepool was blacklisted when he worked at the Jubilee Line Extension in 1997.
He was refused work by Carillion: in 2002 by to work on their GCHQ Cheltenham contract; refused again in 2003 for an unspecified site; and, in 2007 for the Aurora Hotel Project in London. In total he was refused work 5 times by the blacklisting companies.
A thermal insulation engineer from Hartlepool was blacklisted in 1995 by Carillion while he was working on one of their power station sites.
A worker from Norton was blacklisted in 1977 by Tarmac. He was refused work on another 2 occasions with his final recorded knock back by Sir Robert McAlpine in 1990.
A joiner from Hartlepool was blacklisted in 1977 by Tarmac.
A carpenter from Hartlepool was blacklisted in 1977 by Tarmac. He was refused work in 1990, the last entry, by Sir Robert McAlpine.
A bricklayer from Middlesbrough was blacklisted in 1977 by Tarmac.
An electrician from Seaham was blacklisted while working at Barrow Power Station in February 2003.
He applied to Carillion in September 2003 on two consecutive days for work at an unspecified site. On both occasions the file states: ‘Main contact given details. Co has not employed.’