Unite has welcomed moves from construction employers to begin to take responsibility for their blacklisting activities, but urged the employers to involve unions and give blacklisted workers their jobs back.
Eight firms of the 44 found to be using a blacklist have announced they are working together to develop a scheme to compensate construction workers whose names were on the ‘blacklist’ database run by The Consulting Association (TCA).
Unite is calling on the remaining 36 firms not to ‘shirk their responsibilities’ and commit to joining the scheme without delay. Thousands of workers and their families have suffered.
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “These employers appear to be responding to union demands to ‘own up,clean up and pay up’. Thousands of construction workers have had their lives, and the lives of their families, destroyed just because they belonged to a trade union or raised concerns about health and safety in one of the most dangerous industries.
“It must now be a priority to get blacklisted workers back into work. Unite is calling on contractors to employ, and where relevant support the up-skilling of blacklisted workers. Many of these workers have spent years out-of-work as a result of being blacklisted. Employers have a moral duty to give them back the jobs that were wrongly taken away from them.
“Any proposals cannot exclude the involvement of blacklisted workers and their trade unions. It is now time for the unions and the employers to thrash out the details and build on these proposals which look encouraging. The devil is in the detail and we will not be fobbed off with a formula that ignores the immense suffering of blacklisted workers.
“The fact that only eight of the 44 construction firms involved in blacklisting have committed to action is not good enough. The remaining 36 firms cannot be allowed to shirk their responsibilities to workers who they cruelly blacklisted. These firms must commit to joining the scheme without delay.”
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
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