Monday, 11 June 2012

Trade Union Report on Blacklisting

The GMB union Congress in Brighton has today seen the publication of a new report 'BLACKLISTING - illegal corporate bullying endemic, systemic and deep-rooted in Carillion and other companies'

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said:
'This GMB report pulls back the curtain of secrecy to give a glimpse as to the way that employers like Carillion have illegally used their power and money to blacklist citizens and to deny them their rights to employment.

The report shows that the level of wrong doing and abuse around this blacklisting is the construction industry’s equivalent of phone hacking by newspapers and is equally serious. For far too long, vested interests have sought to ignore these discriminatory activities of Carillion and others. GMB is going to campaign to expose these activities. GMB will call on politicians to bring social justice to the victims of blacklisting by these companies. Carillion and others should apologise and compensate victims who have fallen foul of their illegal activities.'


 GMB report pulls back the curtain of secrecy to give a glimpse as to the way that employers like Carillion have illegally used their power and money to blacklist citizens and to deny them their rights to employment. The Information Commissioner has confirmed that 224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion. These names, on the files of the blacklisting body The Consulting Association, were released in the course of an Employment Tribunal earlier this year when Carillion was accused of blacklisting a construction worker in London.

The 224 people blacklisted by Carillion were either based in or tried to obtain work in the following areas ( with numbers in the area listed in brackets): Barnsley (1), Birkenhead (2), Blackburn (5), Brentwood (1), Bristol (1), Caernarfon (2), Canvey Island in Essex (1), Chatham in Kent (3), Cheshire (1), Chester (1), Cleator Moor in Cumbria (1), Clwyd (5), Croydon (1), Derby (1), Dundee (1), Edinburgh (2), Ellesmere Port (3), Essex (1), Folkestone (1), Gateshead (1), Glasgow (1), Gravesend (1), Grimsby (1), Hartlepool (2), Hillingdon (1), Irvine (1), Isle of Man (10), Kent (58), Kirkby (1), Leeds (2), Liverpool (14), Livingston (3), Llandudno (1), London (39), Lowestoft (1), Manchester (13), Merseyside (5), Mold (1), North Wales (1), Oldham (1), Plymouth (1), Rayleigh (1), Romford (2), Rotherham (4), Scunthorpe (1), Sheffield (1), Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire (1), Stanford-le-Hope in Essex (2), Sunderland (1), Surrey (1), Thatcham in Berkshire (1), Uxbridge (3), Warrington (1), West Wickham (1), Wirral (5) and Woodbridge in Suffolk (1). See map below for aggregated details. Some areas are listed more than once as the addresses on the blacklist are not complete.

Blacklisting by Carillion was not something isolated or rare. The GMB report estimates that in one quarter that 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.

The Blacklist Support Group praise the GMB for producing the report and consider it to be an important contribution in the campaign to fully expose the role of Carillion in the illegal conspiracy.

Steve Kelly, spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group commented:

'Blacklisted workers welcome this important report by the GMB which shines a light on the dirty tricks that this multi-national used against workers prepared to stand up for their rights or raise concerns about safety in the building industry. Unfortunately Carillion now seems to be bringing these vile anti-union practices into the NHS and other projects publicly funded.  The Blacklist Support Group are proud to have assisted the GMB in the production of this report. We hope that the report will be shared amongst public authorities and in regions where workers have been blacklisted by Carillion, the firm should be removed from any approved contractors list for future publicly funded projects in that area. Labour Councils especially have a role to play in ensuring that their contractors comply with at least basic standards of corporate responsibility; which means not victimising and blacklisting trade union members.'

A recent blacklisting Employment Tribunal judgment in London in March 2012 (Case no 1310709/2009) the judge said 'It seems to us that he has suffered a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy'.

On Tuesday 12th June, Dave Smith (the blacklisted worker in the above case) will be giving evidence to the parliamentary blacklisting investigation being carried out by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee chaired by Ian Davidson MP.

2pm Tues 12th June 2012

Committee Room 8

Houses of Parliament, Westminster

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