Saturday, 11 April 2015

Unions embrace MPs' Blacklist Enquiry Call

Sent to us by Joe Bailey (Unite)

A ‘damning’ report  by a House of Commons select committee calling for a public inquiry into construction industry ‘blacklisting’ has been welcomed by unions.  Unite said it strongly endorsed the recommendation in a March ‘Blacklisting in Employment’ final report from the Scottish Affairs Committee.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said:
'The report by the Scottish Affairs Committee is a damning indictment of the underhand and cruel tactics that the construction industry employed against decent workers prepared to stand up and be counted on such issues as health and safety.' She added: “Whoever is in government after May’s general election must respond to the repeated call for a full public inquiry into the long-running issue of "blacklisting".'

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said:
'Strip away the weasel words and crocodile tears from the blacklisting companies and their highly paid entourage of spin doctors and lawyers and the simple truth is that MPs of all political parties involved in the inquiry into Blacklisting in Employment do not trust the companies to eradicate blacklisting and do not believe they have, or will self-cleanse.'

The select committee report was also highly critical of a blacklisting compensation scheme introduced unilaterally by major construction firms.  Committee chair Ian Davidson said it 'was an act of bad faith by those involved, likely to be motivated by a desire to minimise financial and reputational damage rather than being a genuine attempt to address the crimes of the past.'

Steve Murphy, general secretary of UCATT, backed the committee’s comments.  'The Scottish Affairs Select Committee has condemned the counterfeit compensation scheme in the strongest possible terms,' he said, adding affected workers knew the scheme was 'simply a cheap way to gag them and deny them justice.'

Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith said:
'These wretches have misled parliament and ruined the lives of thousands of honest working men and women just for the crime of being a trade union member or raising concerns about safety on building sites.'

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