Readers may have heard recently in the news about something called ‘The Consulting Association (TCA) database’. Unions have been campaigning for years for construction companies to admit that this database contains the names of UK construction workers who’ve been blacklisted.
It’s thought the blacklisting often came after workers raised serious health and safety concerns with their managers.
Companies admit wrongdoing
Earlier this week eight major UK construction companies put their hands up, admitting they’ve been involved and announcing they would be developing a scheme to compensate workers affected by the blacklist.
It’s thought there are over 3,000 UK workers on the blacklist and at least one on the Isle of Wight. The GMB is asking for help in identifying them, so they can be offered an apology and compensation.
It you know anyone who believes they were on the blacklist please ask them to call Phil Read at GMB on 07840 897997 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vinci admits involvement with blacklist
The companies who have owned up to their involvement are Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci Plc – one half of the highways PFI contractor, Vinci Meridiam.
Help needed in tracking down Islander on blacklist
An announcement by the GMB this week reveals,
Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (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.
Less than 15% of the 3,214 people on the blacklist are aware that their names are on it after the ICO decided not to contact them directly.
Abuse of the civil rights of thousands of UK workers
Justin Bowden GMB National Officer said,
“This owning up by these companies is an important step in admitting they engaged in a terrible abuse of the civil rights of thousands of UK workers. The next step is for the firms to clean up and pay up. This remains our demand on the construction industry.
“After years of lies and denials, today some of the blacklisters have finally owned up and admitted they did blacklist and did abuse the basic civil rights of 1000’s of ordinary people. Their admission brushes aside the fig leaf other companies (like Carillion) have tried to hide behind.
“For those who have owned up, the next stage will be to clean up: this must include a new and agreed code of practice for the construction industry covering how they employ people alongside their plans to ensure the industry is cleansed of those so-called “professionals” who ran the blacklist.
“The final part is ‘pay up’ and the victims and their families will either be fairly compensated including the offer of jobs or GMB will ensure justice for its members through the High Court.
“We are now appealing for help from local organizations including media outlets across the UK to assist in identifying and locating all the 3,214 workers on the blacklist so that they get compensation.”
Thanks to Mike Starke for bringing the GMB appeal to our attention.