Unite, the UK’s leading union, is stepping up its search for information into the possible collusion by trade union officials into the blacklisting of construction workers.

In April 2022 Unite established an independent inquiry into allegations that some union officials may have colluded with the blacklisting of construction workers.

Legal team

Unite has instructed a legal team of Nick Randall KC (Matrix Chambers), John Carl Townsend (33 Chancery Lane Chambers) and Paul Heron from (Public Interest Law Centre), to examine and investigate whether any union officials from Unite or its predecessor unions (T&G, UCATT, Amicus, AEEU or MSF), were involved in the blacklisting of construction workers.

The inquiry is now entering its next stage and an online portal has been launched to allow anyone who has any information relating to the inquiry to submit information.

Conclusive proof

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Since becoming general secretary of Unite, I have made it completely clear that no stone will be left unturned to obtain conclusive proof whether any current or former union officials were involved in the blacklisting of workers.

“Blacklisting is a disgusting practice which ruins workers’ lives. Unite has been and continues to be at the forefront of stamping out this practice once and for all. That is why the inquiry into any collusion between union officials and blacklisters is so critical.”

Consulting Association 

In 2009 it was revealed that an organisation called the Consulting Association, had been systemically blacklisting construction workers on an industrial scale, resulting from a raid on its premises by the Information Commissioners Office. Following the ICO raid over 3,000 construction workers were found to have been on the Consulting Association’s blacklist.

When the victims of blacklisting were able to read the files that the Consulting Association held on them some raised concerns that the information had been supplied by union officials.

The online portal to report examples of blacklisting and collusion of union officials can be accessed here.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.