GMB Seeking Help With Identifying Blacklisted Workers

10 Oct 2013

GMB, the union for construction workers, is asking local organisations, including local media, across the UK to assist in identifying and locating the 3,214 workers on the construction industry blacklist after eight construction employers offered an apology and compensation. Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC - all apologise for their involvement with the blacklist and the impact that its database may have had on any individual construction worker. The companies have joined together to establish The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme.  The scheme is intended to make it as simple as possible for any worker with a legitimate claim to access compensation.

In June 2013, GMB lodged claims in the High Court in London seeking compensation for 70 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers. Blacklisting came to light when in 2009the 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. See table below for where the blacklisted workers come from. GMB has access to some information on the blacklist and is seeking help from local organisations including local media across the UK to assist in identifying and locating all 3,214 so that they get compensation. Those who wish to help should call Phil Read at GMB on 07840 897997 or email him .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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

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 organisations 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.”

If you know anyone who might help ask them to contact Phil Read on 07840 897997 or email him .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).