Blacklisters trial!

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A HIGH Court hearing took place yesterday to seek compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers.

GMB said: ‘The High Court should apply the same standards on disclosure as in phone hacking and Libbor rigging scandals so that the world can see what the construction firms did to ordinary workers.’

The claims were served by law firm Leigh Day for GMB members on 27th November 2013.

GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at a High Court hearing in July 2014.

There was a directions hearing on all 571 cases on 17th December 2014 and 13th February 2015.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits, and keep out of employment, trade union and health and safety activists.

Talks between GMB and construction employers (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down in June 2014 over the amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers.

Employers unilaterally launched a cut price scheme, GMB estimates will cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms.

So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on a blacklist. 467 were identified by themselves or by their unions. 571 cases are covered by claims in the High Court.

ICO contacted direct a further 1,257 and, of these 776 has now been sent a copy of their files.

That leaves 1,489 still to trace.

GMB organised ‘Crocodile Tears’ protests at 16 locations across the UK to shame 63 construction industry managers, named as blacklisters, who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said: ‘With less than a year until the likely date of the full hearing on blacklisting, we expect the High Court to rule on what documents, held by Carillion and the other construction companies, they must now disclose about their blacklisting of GMB members.

‘True to form, the companies would prefer their dirty dealings with The Consulting Association (TCA) to remain their grubby little secret.

‘They are using every excuse to avoid disclosure of key documents. GMB expects the High Court will apply the same standards it did in the phone hacking and Libbor rigging scandals so the whole truth comes out and the world can see what the construction companies did to ordinary workers in the name of bigger profits.’