20 November 2013

For more than 20 years, employers in the construction industry broke the law by using secret files to vet new recruits. They checked to see who was in a trade union, and who was concerned about health and safety on site. If you were a health and safety rep, or union activist, you were put on a blacklist and denied the right to work.

The scandal came to light in 2009 when the Information Commissioner’s Office raided the premises of The Consulting Association and discovered an illegal blacklist with the details of 3,213 construction workers which had been used by nearly fifty UK-based construction companies to vet employees.

Most of the people on the blacklist don’t realise their names were ever on it. Nor has a penny been paid out to any of those who found themselves barred from work, with no reason ever given.

That's why the TUC - together with Unite, the GMB, and UCATT, whose members work in the construction industry - is calling for a full public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal along the lines of the Leveson inquiry.

Unions say the firms involved need to:


Own up and accept responsibility for their past discriminatory and illegal practices.

Clean up by establishing transparent recruitment procedures, agreed with unions, that are properly monitored.

And pay up to compensate all those who were unable to work in the industry again or had years of unemployment because they were on the blacklist.

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