Friday, 22 November 2013

Scottish Ban on Blacklists!

BLACKLIST Support Group (BSG) applaud the Scottish government for their announcement to ban blacklisting firms from public contracts. The announcement made by First Minister Alex Salmond in the Scottish parliament on the TUC Day of Action says that blacklisting firms will be denied contracts if they refuse to compensate victims.

Clauses in proposed new contracts being introduced under the Procurement Bill also allow for contracts to be terminated early if they firms are found to have broken the law relating to blacklisting midway through any contracts. Alex Salmond quote: 'The Scottish government is opposed to blacklisting in any form, given the serious impact it can have on the career, livelihoods and lives of those affected. Companies awarded public contracts must maintain high standards of business and professional conduct. Everyone has a right to work and to raise concerns, including through a union. They should not expect to be inhibited in any way by choosing to exercise these rights. We are making it absolutely clear to any company wishing to tender to supply, build or service parts of our national infrastructure, or to deliver our public goods and services, that blacklisting will not be tolerated and that they face being excluded from bidding for public contracts if found to be taking part in this unacceptable practice. The new guidance - see attachment - will apply to Scotland’s standard Pre-Qualification Questionaire (sPQQ) and will also form part of a new contract clause in standard terms and conditions, allowing for the termination of a contract if a supplier is found to have breached relevant legislation during the course of that contract.'

The guidance includes examples of remedial steps which firms involved in blacklisting need to have taken including an 'appropriate apology', paying compensation and taking 'concrete, technical, organisational and personnel measures that are appropriate to prevent further criminal offence or misconduct'.

Willie Black (BSG) - Edinburgh based blacklisted construction worker was at the Scottish parliament on Wednesday said: 'The blacklisting of safety reps by building cntractors shows that these ratbags put profits ahead of safety of workers on construction sites. People have died because of their actions. Banning blacklisting firms from all public contracts will cost them billions. Perhaps now they will start to understand the impact their vile conspiracy has had on honest trade unionists standing up for their fellow workers. But if the blacklisting companies think a half hearted apology is going to stop our campaign they are very much mistaken. We will be back again and again until we get justice.'

The Scottish announcement mirrors action already taken by Wales earlier in the year, which resulted in the Welsh Government being nominated for an award at the Liberty Human Rights Awards on Monday because of the stance they have taken on blacklisting. Blacklist Support Group video: blog: facebook:

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