Monday, 7 September 2015

Ethical Procurement's Never-Never-Land

Unite Casa Branch: 'Liverpool Council "Reneges" on promise'!

LIVERPOOL Casa branch of Unite has now joined Bury Unite Commercial Branch, the Greater Manchester Construction Branch,  and Tameside Trade Union Council in expressing its disappointment in the readiness of Municipal councils to impose ethical procurement on companies tendering for contracts.  A branch report in the Unite the Union North West Region Regional Committee record from the North west co-ordinator, Sheila Coleman, stated: 

'The branch is very disappointed that Liverpool City Council has reneged on previous agreement to implement an ethical procurement policy (EEP) in respect of companies tendering for contracts.'

This represents the latest set-back in the activist campaign, supported by the Blacklist Support Group and unions like the GMB, to get local authorities to adopt an ethical policy for awarding public contracts and to scrutinise companies that may previously have been affiliated to the Consulting Association and possibly have been involved in blacklisting of construction workers and trade unionists.

Liverpool City Council has argued that while it is 'dedicated to complying with ethical procurement for its own workforce, it cannot impose this on outside contracts'.  

 Councillor Nick Parnell
Bury Councillor Nick Parnell

This seemed to be the reasoning used by the Bury Labour councillor, Nick Parnell (see photo), when, at the Local Authority Risc meeting on the 5th,March 2015, he appeared to opposed a similar motion on Ethical Procurement presented by my Bury Unite Commercial Branch: it now turns out that Bury MBC has a contract with Carillion (see post on this Blog 'Get me Mr. Toasty').  While at Tameside MBC, a long-time Labour Council, and its leader Kieran Quinn, has been in the forefront of awarding contracts to companies that have been accused of blacklisting like Carillion.  Labour leader, Mr Quinn, is also prominent on the Greater Manchester Pension Fund which is also in awarding contracts to these companies.

Trade unionists in the North West are concerned about what is happening, and the Liverpool Casa Branch is planning to host an ethical procurement conference in the near future.  Some, however, seem to object to us publicising this failure of local authorities to process ethical procurement policies against companies that have been accused blacklisting, and at present one of the administrators on our Northern Voices' Blog is the subject of an investigation.  

1 comment:

Mark Hollinrake. said...

The Green Party fully supports the ending of Blacklisting and making it a criminal offence to do so. We support a full investigation into such practices along with the TUC. We are the only main UK wide party to support fully the scrapping of all anti trade union laws. We would of course work with the Unions to bring in fair laws and rules, including allowing online ballots for strikes etc. However, we rightly say Unions should not fund political parties, but instead believe Unions should back individual candidates, who support Union policy etc, and campaigns that are in the interests of Unions and or their members.

We call on all councils and public bodies, to find suppliers and contractors who do not use blacklisting and other such things, as well as paying at least the proper living wage, and or proper industry wages and conditions as agreed with the relevant Trade Unions. Basically we support the relevant Trade Union position.

AS far as I am aware one of the currant Labour leadership candidates fully supports the above position, that being Jeremy Corbyn.