DISCRIMINATION BY EMPLOYERS

25. Jan, 2014

More than 3,000 names appear on an illegal blacklist used by companies in the construction industry.

The map, below, was made by GMB to show how many people in each area of the UK were on the blacklist of 3,213 workers.

 

The blacklist first came to light in 2009 when the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out trade union and health and safety activists.

By autumn 2012, only 194 of the 3,213 blacklisted workers knew they were on it. After GMB pressed for disclosure, the ICO agreed to supply names, dates of birth, trades and towns of residence on a restricted basis to enable GMB to check their membership records to find members who are on the blacklist.

They found 200 exact matches and are in contact with these members to get their files from ICO. GMB appointed lawyers are preparing litigation to get compensation for them.

There were a further 300 names on the list, who may be GMB members, but they need more information to assess if they are.

If you were a construction worker from one of these areas and as a trade union or health and safety activist were denied work for reasons you could not explain, get in touch so your records can be crosschecked.

GMB’s priority is to step up the campaign to get compensation for every blacklisted GMB member. GMB is calling on councils not to award work to the companies that operated the blacklist until they compensate those they discriminated against. GMB is also pushing ICO for a proactive action to inform all builders affected that they are on the blacklist.

A GMB report on blacklisting showed that it was not something isolated or rare. The report estimated that in one quarter, Carillion, for example, checked 2,776 names with the Consulting Association, and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names.

If you can help to identify more people named on the blacklist, contact Phil Whitehurst, GMB construction officer on 07968 338 810 or phil.whitehurst@gmb.org.uk or GMB, 22 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD.