Thursday 11th April 2013
GMB Call On Skanska To Take Active Steps To Compensate Those They Blacklisted As Demo Gets Under Way At AGM In Stockholm
Blacklisting has been admitted by them as “inexcusable” behaviour so it should not be for people who suffered at their hand to pursue Skanska says GMB.
With GMB’s demonstration in at Skanska AGM in Stockholm about to get underway at 3pm on 11th April (see notes to editors for press release with details of the demonstration) GMB responded to statement yesterday by Skanska which said the firm would “assess the validity” of any claim for compensation made by any individual “if they can demonstrate that our actions prejudiced them getting work and they suffered loss as a result”.
Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary said “This is not a question of whether Skanska blacklisted construction workers and kept people out of employment. That has been admitted by them as “inexcusable” behaviour.
It should not be for people who suffered at their hand to pursue Skanska. For Skanska to purge their guilt the company has to proactively investigate those they denied employment to, contact them, make an apology to them and compensate them.
Skanska know who they kept out of work. They can enter into discussions with trade union representatives to ensure they do this properly.
Half-hearted PR apologies and offers to look into claims will not undo the damage or restore their reputation”.
Contact: Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Dave Smith 07882 579 452 or GMB press office 07921 289880
Notes to Editors
Copy of GMB press release
GMB DEMONSTRATION AT SKANSKA AGM IN STOCKHOLM ON THURSDAY 11TH APRIL OVER CONSTRUCTION WORKERS BLACKLISTING IN UK
GMB wants Skanska managers to be told by shareholders and Swedish public that the building workers and their families, whose lives they ruined, must be compensated
GMB, the union for construction workers in UK and Ireland, with the Blacklist Support Group is planning a protest demonstration outside Skanska Annual Shareholders meeting on Thursday 11th April. This is over the refusal of Skanska to compensate the construction workers they admit the blacklisted and kept out of employment in the UK.
The blacklist first came to light when in 2009, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers which was used by 44 companies including Skanska to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. Over 60% of those on the blacklist were aged between 30 and 50 in the mid1990s. They were active trade union lay leaders on construction sites.
On 5th March 2013 Skanska appeared in front of Scottish Select Committee Enquiry into Blacklisting in the UK Parliament to admit and regret their “inexcusable” role in the blacklisting of 3,213 construction workers and green activists. See link http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/scottish-affairs-committee/news/skanska-ev-session/
John Dickinson was named by Ian Kerr boss of Consulting Association as the main contact for Skanska alongside Skanska manager Stephen Quant.
The details for the protest demonstration are as follows:
From 3pm to 5.30pm CET
Thursday 11th April
Outside Skanska AB Annual Shareholders’ Meeting at
Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3,
Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer will lead the delegation for GMB. He will be accompanied by blacklisted workers Dave Smith, an engineer from Colchester in Essex, Graham Bowker an electrician from Oldham in Greater Manchester, Roy Bentham, a carpenter from Liverpool in Merseyside from the Blacklist Support Group. They will arrive in Stockholm early afternoon on Wed 10th to meet Swedish building unions, other trade unionists. They will be available for press interviews.
Blacklisting was not something rare. GMB estimates that in one quarter for example construction company Carillion checked 2,776 names with the Consulting Association and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names.
By autumn 2012 only 194 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist knew that they were on the list as these had contacted the ICO directly.
ICO finally agreed to supply names, date of birth, trade and town to enable GMB to check against membership records to find members on the blacklist. GMB found nearly 200 exact matches and the union is working to get files from ICO. Leigh Day is preparing litigation to get them compensation at no cost to these GMB members.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “Skanska appeared in front of the UK Parliamentary Select Committee into Blacklisting just last month and said how deeply they regretted their “inexcusable” role in the blacklisting of 3,213 construction workers and green activists.
From 1996/7 to 2008/9 Skanska and its predecessors spent £216,000. This was second only to the £220,000 spent by McAlpine. As it cost £2.50 to check a name Skanska checked a lot of names.
However Skanska have refused to pay a single penny in compensation. Indeed they have said that they will fight any legal action against them.
GMB is travelling to Stockholm to alert the Swedish people and the shareholders of Skanska of such double standards.
GMB wants the managers Skanska employed to be told that the building workers and their families, whose lives they ruined, must be compensated.
Contact Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Dave Smith 07882 579 452