Unite Scotland construction members took part in the National Day of Action against blacklisting by protesting outside the St James Redevelopment, in Edinburgh. Their target was the construction firm Laing O'Rourke who are developing a nearbillion pound shopping centre on the site.
Formerly, Laing O’Rourke were key members of the secret Consulting Association which was once the organising agency promoting blacklisting in the construction industry across the UK. They remain stridently anti-trade union to this day.
Following the protest at the Laing O’Rourke site the Unite delegation moved on to the Scottish Parliament to stage a demonstration there. This time the target was the Scottish Government and its failure to ban known blacklisters on all Scottish Government public sector contracts.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Steve Dillon said: “The Scottish Government has produced a procurement policy note but have not backed that up with decisive action. It seems to be the case that companies who have long been identified as established blacklisters are able to bid successfully for Scottish Government contracts time after time. Companies that have been caught blacklisting should be barred from bidding for public sector contracts.”
You can see video of the demo here :
The new leader of Labour in Scotland, Richard Leonard echoed the criticism of the Scottish Govedrnment. He told the demonstration: "We have a question for the Scottish Government. They have created new contract rules which gives them the legal right to ban blacklisting companies from Scottish Government contracts. The question is when when when are they going to use these powers. It isn't enough to have powers to ban blacklisters. The powers need to be put into practice."