Friday, 18 July 2014

Blacklist Bosses' Misled Parliament correction

Vinci, Laing O'Rourke & Balfour Beatty and their predecessor companies spent approximately £335,000 on the services of the blacklisting organisation The Consulting Association NOT £335 million as incorrectly stated in the previous email
Genuine apologies - there was no deliberate intention to mislead

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, Blacklist Support Group <> wrote: 
BOSSES from blacklist companies were today (Tues 16th July) humiliated during a packed witness session for a parliamentary Select Committee when MPs repeatedly accused them of setting out to "deliberately mislead parliament". The Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting heard evidence from Nick Pollard, chief executive of Balfour Beatty, Andrew Ridley-Barker, managing director of Vinci Construction and Callum Tuckett, group finance and commercial director at Laing O'Rourke plus Richard Slaven, partner at Pinsent mason solicitors and Richard Duke from the PR company Grayling.

Simon Reevell MP (Con) condemned the letter sent by Richard Dukes of the PR company Grayling on behalf of the blacklist compensation scheme which he claimed was "intended to mislead every member of parliament" which falsely claimed that unions and representatives of blacklisted workers supported the scheme.

Jim McGovern (Lab) MP for Dundee told the industry bosses point blankly that they had "misled this committee and misled parliament"

MPs identified that Vinci, Laing O'Rourke and Balfour Beatty companies had paid in excess of £335,000 to the Consulting Association which equated to approximately 200,000 name checks on construction workers. 600 workers had either been denied employment or had persoanl information information added to the blacklist database by the 3 firms or their predecessor companies. The construction bosses were continually ridiculed and interrupted by Labour, Liberal and Conservative MPs alike who refused to accepted their grovelling apologies for their role in the Consulting Association blacklisting scandal with Select Committee chairman, Ian Davidson MP accusing the scheme of being "purely damage limitation" rather than a genuine desire to show "repentance"

The levels of compensation being offered by the scheme were also forensically taken apart by MPs and Richard Slaven, partner at law firm Pinsent Mason was forced to admit that he could not quote a single authority to justify the pitifully low figures being offered by the blacklist firms who MPs identified as having a combined annual turnover of £34 billion. Slaven was accused of being "not exactly razor sharp" by former barrister Simon Reevel MP.

The MPs suggested a number of changes that the firms said they would go back and consider including extending the schemes period to 3 years to allow for the High Court trial to conclude before workers needed to make a decision. Ian Davidson again repeated his suggestion that the compensation scheme that had been condemned by the Blacklist Support group and trade unions should exist to provide "interim damages" which would be increased once the High Court trial finished. The MPs stated that unless the scheme was drastically improved and the firms showed real attempts to clean up their acts that they should "be denied access to future public contracts"

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