Crossrail chief under fire for blacklisting

Crossrail chief under fire for blacklisting

01 May 2013

Unite, together with blacklisted workers will stage a major protest tomorrow (Thursday 2 May) against Crossrail chief Andrew Wolstenholme for allowing blacklisting to take place on Europe's biggest construction project.

WHEN: Thursday 2 May from 09:00
WHERE: Railtex 2013, Earls Court 2, Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA

Unite believes that ‘blacklisting’ continues to be rife and that this disgraceful practice has been evident on the publically funded Crossrail project.

Crossrail CEO Andrew Wolstenholme is the keynote speaker at a major exhibition for the rail industry at Earls Court tomorrow but he will be greeted by protestors who are determined to alert Crossrail's stakeholders of the damage blacklisting does to people's lives and how the illegal practice is also damaging the reputations of Crossrail and the organisations associated with the project.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Unite is making it loud and clear that unlike Crossrail's chief Andrew Wolstenholme we oppose the immoral and illegal practice of blacklisting.

"It is wrong for Europe's biggest construction project to allow blacklisting to take place. Time and time again we have given Crossrail the opportunity to work constructively with us to implement a union agreement which would deliver stability and safety. Instead we have significant evidence of blacklisting on the site and a series of unacceptable and avoidable accidents with one worker being left with severe burns across his body.

"It is time for Crossrail to stop paying lip service to employment rights and cooperate with Unite to deliver meaningful union recognition and re-employ the union members who have been unfairly sacked for supporting their colleagues."


Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors

  • The former head of the Consulting Association, Ian Kerr, admitted to the Scottish Affairs select committee, that representatives of the companies using the ‘blacklist’ had held extensive discussions related to Crossrail. 
  • It has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the former head of industrial relations at Crossrail has been actively ‘blacklisting’ throughout his career. This man was given a job of strategic importance on the Crossrail project. 
  • Sub-contractor EIS has signed a witness statement following the termination of its Crossrail contract, stating that the company’s removal from the project was due to trade union activity within the workforce, including the raising of legitimate health and safety concerns.
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.