Unite launches High Court legal offensive against blacklisters

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Unite launches High Court legal offensive against blacklisters

Construction union Unite launched a legal offensive against several major construction firms today.

The union is preparing to issue a total of 50 cases in the High Court against construction employers including Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Balfour Beatty, Crown House Technologies, Skanska, Kier and Laing O’Rourke.

Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said blacklisting should be made a criminal offence.

“Unite has already supported numerous blacklisting cases in the courts and at employment tribunals and the union has already succeeded on behalf of many members,” she said.

“We will continue the very real task of giving the best legal and industrial representation to members who have been dehumanised by employers. Blacklisting is a morally indefensible practice.

“Workers need stronger legislation against blacklisting to give the law real teeth. We also believe that punishment for the blacklisters who have ruined lives and left families destitute should be severe. Blacklisting should be a criminal offence with punitive action up to and including imprisonment.”

The news comes as the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) confirmed yesterday that over the next few days a further 1,200 people will get a letter telling them they are on the blacklist.

The move by the ICO paves the way for more legal challenges against the blacklisters.

The union announced that it had issued a first tranche of five High Court proceedings against blacklisters with 45 more cases to follow.

The move coincides with the day of action against blacklisting which has been led by Unite, Ucatt and the GMB .

Over the last 4 years, 44 construction companies were exposed as blacklisters following a raid on the Consulting Association by the Information Commissioner.

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