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Trade union activists protested outside construction company Carillion in Wolverhampton today as part of nationwide protests against blacklisting.
The union accuses major construction employers including Carillion of blacklisting workers for 20 years using secret files to vet new recruits and keep union and health and safety activists out of work.
Joe Morgan, GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Regional Secretary said:
“Workers who were placed on this list were denied work through no fault of their own. They have been deprived of an honest living through these illegal tactics and have been the victims of injustice over many years by multi-national companies.
“Not a single company has yet been punished nor have any of them paid out compensation. We need to fight for the suffering these victims have gone through and give them back the jobs that were wrongly taken from them.
“Many of these workers have spent years out of work, we want a guarantee that jobs will be offered to them on any up and coming major construction projects.”
Blacklisting was discovered in March 2009 when the Information Commissioner’s Office raided the offices of the Consulting Association and found a list containing the details of 3,213 building workers, which had been used by more than 40 construction companies around the UK.
More than four and a half years later most of these construction workers are still unaware they have been blacklisted as they have not been contacted, nor has a penny been paid to any of the victims.
Carillion has admitted using the Consulting Association list before it was disbanded in 2009 but denies blacklisting workers, insisting it used the association to prevent “unlawful industrial action” on its sites.
The Trades Union Council (TUC) and other unions are unhappy that companies which have blacklisted workers have still not been held accountable and want a Leveson-style inquiry into the practice.