Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Emergency Motion for North West TUC Conference in March 2013

Emergency Motion for North West TUC Conference 2013:
Title:  Blacklisting in the Construction industry 
IN March 2009, the offices of the Consulting Association were raided by staff acting on behalf of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Documentation discovered on the premises included a blacklist containing the names of over 3,000 construction workers. This illegal data base contained personal information about (inter alia) the trade union and political activities of building workers.

Conference notes that this data-base also included personal details of environmental activists, MPs, journalists and academics, as well as details about their families and other interests. Conference also notes, that information provided on these files was, according to David Clancy, Special Investigator for the ICO, provided by the police and security services. 
The Consulting Association was set up and run on behalf of at least 44 major construction companies; including Sir Robert McAlpine; Carillion; Balfour Beatty. Many of these companies paid both an affiliation fee, a fee for each name they requested to be monitored, and provided supplementary information on trade union activists and other workers in their employ. 

Though many of these companies have been exposed for their links to the Consulting Association, they continue to receive tax-payer funded public sector contracts: for example Tameside MBC has handed over lucrative contracts to Carillion to maintain and manage their properties.

Conversely in January 2013, Hull City Council took the decision to refuse to award public contracts to the 44 construction firms who were implicated with the secretive blacklisting organisation: The Consulting Association. More recently Knowsley MBC and Tower Hamlets MBC have done the same, and Harlow MBC are reported to be considering their position with this regard. 

Recent reports in the national press and other media have disclosed that blacklisting had been taking place on Crossrail and Olympic projects. Conference consequently calls upon the TUC: 

i. To support demands for a full investigation/ public inquiry into blacklisting, both past and present, and into the intimate involvement of both the police and security services in these iniquitous practices.

ii. To draw up a list of local authorities who are awarding contracts to blacklisters like Carillion, and to try to get them to award publicly funded contracts to companies that are not among the 44 companies that were affiliated to the Consulting Association.

Produced by Tameside TUC & Greater Manchester Contracting Branch for Greater Manchester County Association TUCs' 'Emergency Motion'. 

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