The Blacklist May 9, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
About £10m will be paid in compensation to more than 250 building workers who were “blacklisted” by some of Britain’s biggest construction firms under a settlement to be announced on Monday.
The total payout from the out-of-court deal secured from Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and six other building companies by the Unite union on behalf of almost 800 unfairly targeted workers could be as high as £75m.
The blacklist resulted in hundreds of workers losing their jobs and being unable to secure new ones after being deemed troublemakers while raising legitimate workplace issues.
The construction industry used to monitor more than 3,000 building workers through a shadowy organisation, the Consulting Association, which was eventually raided by the Information Commissioner’s Office after earlier revelations in the Guardian.
The scale in terms of numbers impacted is considerable:
“For decades household-name construction companies implemented an illegal blacklisting system, which denied a generation of trade union activists and health and safety reps an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Finally they have been held to account in public and at great cost to them financially and reputationally.
“Preventing 3,213 workers earning a living to support their families was a gross injustice, and government and employers’ organisations must never forget this sordid episode. Without strong regulation and penalties holding them to account, employers will always be tempted to put profit above people.”
And while compensation is important – indeed the very fact this is uncovered is important, more important is the necessity to ensure that such practices are not allowed to continue in any guise. But in the current environment with one of the most reactionary Tory governments in the UK and a broader mood music that pushes back against unions and workers rights that’s a more difficult challenge than it might at first seem.