Blacklisting history

In 2009 a conspiracy against construction workers on a breath-taking scale was exposed. This confirmed what many workers in the industry knew to be true, major contractors were systematically denying workers employment because of their association with trade unions. Decent people denied employment for the ‘crime’ of fighting for safe working conditions and the rate for the job.

The Consulting Association collated files on thousands of construction workers and traded information to 44 companies, including household names such as Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine and Skanska.  Unite’s response was industrial, political and legal.

  • Industrial - Unite campaigned and defeated ‘BESNA’ the ‘brainchild’ of seven major contractors who clubbed together a £25m fund to undercut the national agreement. On the Crossrail project in London Unite successfully campaigned to return to work a blacklisted member. 
  • Political - Unite has campaigned for better law and won the support of many politicians in Westminster, Holyrood and the Welsh Assembly.
  • Legal - In the light of this campaigning major contractors offered to compensate individuals on TCA’s blacklist. In May 2016 the legal cases were settled and Unite held out for the best deal possible. Unite’s aggressive High Court litigation strategy led to significant levels of compensation being awarded and a public apology from those companies who had used the blacklist.

'Blacklisting’ victory sees £10 million pay-out to 256 workers , 9 May 2016

Unite statement on High Court ‘blacklisting’ trial adjournment , 4 May 2016

Unite statement on 'blacklisting' ,  3 May 2016

Unite statement on 'blacklisting' , 29 April 2016

‘Blacklisting mastermind’ refuses to give evidence at High Court hearing , 12 April 2016

High Court orders construction firms to release blacklisting information , 22 January 2016

Unite sets up telephone hotline for blacklisted workers , 19 December 2013 

Unite launches High Court legal offensive against blacklisters , 20 November 2013

Unite accuses Cameron govt of running scared on action to tackle blacklisting, 20 November 2013

Unite urges Scottish government to help tackle blacklisting firms, 19 November 2013

Unite demands meaningful negotiations over blacklisted workers compensation, 18 November 2013

Unite says employer action welcome but give blacklisted workers their jobs back, 10 October 2013

Unite commends Welsh government on blacklisting, 11 September 2013

Unite welcomes TUC day of action, 8 September 2013

Campaign against ‘blacklisting’ Chicago airport bidder goes stateside, 13 August 2013

Vince Cable takes one step forward on blacklisting, 23 July 2013

Vince Cable asked to intervene in blacklisting scandal, 23 July 2013

Unite goes to Spain to highlight Ferrovial’s British scandal, 24 June 2013

Unite calls on MSPs to help tackle blacklisting misery, 10 June 2013

Giant rat in super sewer protest, 6 June 2013

Protest as Crossrail contractor faces claim for blacklisting, 20 May 2013

Blacklist construction firm Kier wins the ‘Golden Rat’ award, 16 May 2013

Standard Life stained by blacklist firm investments, 13 May 2013

No public contracts for blacklisters, 10 May 2013

Man City football club in blacklisting protest, 2 May 2013

.Crossrail chief under fire for blacklisting, 1 May 2013
Unite in Amsterdam to protest against BAM blacklisting on Crossrail, 23 April 2013

Ban blacklisting employers from public procurement says Unite general secretary, 17 April 2013
Scottish affairs committee shines a light on blacklisting, 16 April 2013

Construction workers to rally against blacklisting, 8 March 2013

Crossrail contractor faces legal claim for blacklisting, 26 February 2013

Unite calls for Leveson style inquiry into blacklisting, 22 January 2013
Crossrail ‘blacklisting’ probe called for by Unite, 6 December 2012