Construction workers to lobby parliament over blacklisting

CONSTRUCTION workers who are members of the Unite union are planning to lobby Parliament on Wednesday 6 December as part of a day of action in the campaign for justice for blacklisted workers.

The members will attend a meeting where they will be addressed by Labour MPs including John McDonnell, Jonathan Ashworth, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Louise Haigh.

Unite revealed it is also holding protests on the same day at the sites of companies involved in construction blacklisting throughout the UK including: Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

The union has called for a public inquiry into blacklisting and a ban on firms involved in the practice from bidding for public sector contracts.

Unite is campaigning on behalf of workers who were historically blacklisted via the Consulting Association and those who have been victims of “contemporary” blacklisting. The union claims to have uncovered several recent cases.

This week Unite announced that it had launched new high court proceedings to bring the ‘controlling minds’ behind the systematic blacklisting of workers to justice.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “The disgusting practice of blacklisting has not disappeared. Blacklisting will not be stamped out until the government brings in effective laws. Unite are uncovering fresh cases of contemporary blacklisting which demonstrates why urgent action is needed to end blacklisting once and for all.

“It is simply outrageous that companies who have been caught blacklisting and have ruined the lives of construction workers, have escaped virtually scot free and continue to be rewarded with public sector contracts.

“Unite will leave no stone unturned in our fight for justice for blacklisted workers and will use every avenue open to us; be it industrial, political or legal to win justice for our members.”

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett added, “It is simply unacceptable that those companies guilty of blacklisting continue to benefit from public procurement and simply beyond reason that those individuals who gave the instructions for the blacklist to be created remain at the top of the companies concerned and have not been subject to any discipline proceedings whatsoever.”

The Consulting Association was closed down following a raid of its premises in 2009 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.