For over 20 years employers in the construction industry used secret files to vet new recruits and keep out trade union and health and safety activists. This scandal of blacklisting came to light in March 2009 when the Information Commissioner's Office raided the offices of the Consulting Association and exposed the existence of a blacklist containing the details of 3,213 construction workers. They also found that the blacklist had been used by over 40 UK construction companies.
Over four years have passed since 44 construction companies were exposed as blacklisters following a raid on the Consulting Association by the Information Commissioner. The raid followed a tip off two years earlier than the company had been keeping secret files illegally for over 16 years. Yet even now, most of the 3,213 blacklisted construction workers and environmentalists are still unaware they have been blacklisted as they have not been contacted. Nor has a penny been paid to any of the victims. That is why the TUC, along with the GMB, Ucatt and Unite unions, and the Blacklist Support Group, is calling for a day of action against blacklisting.
Join the day of action on Wednesday 20 November
The aim is to get the industry to "Own Up, Clean Up, Pay Up"
The companies involved must ‘Own Up’ and accept responsibility for what they have done in the past
They also need to ‘Clean Up’ and ensure that it does not happen again by having transparent recruitment procedures that are agreed with tread unions and properly monitored
Then they must ‘Pay Up’ and compensate all those who have suffered as a result of their actions. Many of those who were blacklisted were unable to work in the industry again had years of unemployment. They deserve compensation.
Although eight of the 44 companies involved have agreed to apologise and set up a scheme to compensate some of the workers, this only goes a part of the way towards ensuring justice for the workers and also preventing any repeat of the scandal. The TUC and the unions working in construction want a full public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal along the lines of the Leveson Inquiry into press behaviour. Only by taking strong action now can we ensure that there is no repeat of this disgraceful affair and that no further lives are ruined by the unscrupulous behaviour of unprincipled employers.
Join the day of action on Wednesday 20 November, come to one of the events below.
Find out more from the TUC construction day of action website
East Prescot Road
The Sir Robert McAlpine Admiral Insurance construction site, at the former David Street car park in the centre of Cardiff
9-30 am demo
12:00 WTUC event in the Senedd media briefing room. Speakers include Andy Richards Unite, Nick Blundell UCATT, Martin Hird GMB and Jane Hutt AM.
Anyone wishing to attend contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester Town Hall
Speakers include blacklisted workers: Graham Bowker, Colin Trousdale, George Tapp
7:00am - Protest at Laing O'Rourke, Cheesegrater, Leadenhall St, City of London (opposite Lloyds Building)
10:00am - Protest at Laing O'Rourke, Francis Crick Medical Research Centre, Kings Cross (behind the British Library)
1:00pm - TUC protest with MPs union general secretaries, College Green, Parliament Sq, Westminster
2:00pm - TUC Lobby of MPs, House of Commons
3:30pm - House of Commons Committee Room 11 - John McDonnell MP chairs
GLASGOW & EDINBURGH
Meet at 7.30am at John Smith House, 145- 165 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RZ for a demonstration against a major blacklister, before going through to Edinburgh for meeting at the Scottish Parliament at 12 noon for a rally.