Unite calling notice: National Day of Action against Blacklisting
Where: Scottish Parliament (outside public entrance), Holyrood, Edinburgh
When: Noon, Wednesday 20th November
Unite urges Scottish government to help tackle blacklisting firms
Unite construction workers will reiterate calls for the Scottish government to introduce new guidelines to stop blacklisting companies profiteering from Scottish public procurement contracts and to convene an inquiry into the blacklisting scandal.
Workers will demonstrate at the Scottish Parliament as part of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) National Day of Action against Blacklisting which will see numerous protests across the UK to highlight the impact of blacklisting on thousands of construction employees and their families, both in the past and today across the UK.
It coincides with fresh efforts by the construction industry majors, led by the likes of McAlpine and Balfour Beatty, to prevent further investigation and the development of stronger laws on blacklisting through a one year ‘compensation scheme’ for known blacklisted workers.
Unite has been working with the Scottish government over the last year to introduce procurement reforms that could prevent known blacklisting companies tendering for public procurement contracts, worth an estimated £10 billion a year.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said, “It is natural justice that there should be compensation and re-employment for workers impacted by blacklisting; but these measures alone won’t get to the root of the problem.
“For decades the construction industry denied the existence of an industry blacklist and its practice only for the true extent of this abuse to be blown wide open by the ICO findings in 2009 – and we are still only scratching the surface of this scandal.
“The Scottish government can send out a strong message by introducing new guidelines that could prevent known practitioners of blacklisting from tendering and profiting from Scotland’s lucrative public procurement contracts.
“Furthermore, by convening a Scottish public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal we can establish how deep this practice pierced into our society and, as we seen in the recent Crossrail dispute, how blacklisting is still prevalent today.”
Notes to editors: For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact Peter Welsh on 07810 157931.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.