Britain: Blacklisted workers form action group

An informal support network for building workers blacklisted for their trade union and safety activities has been established following a meeting last week at Westminster. Labour MP John McDonnell hosted the meeting at the House of Commons, at which a decision was made to set up the Blacklist Support Group.

A spokesperson for the new group said it would give workers a “coherent collective voice”. The group said it planned to investigate the prospects of a potential class action civil claim and cases under human rights legislation. It also aims to “expose the illegal practices of the major construction firms involved in blacklisting.”

The Blacklist Support Group wants action to be taken against the major site companies named by the Information Commissioner, who seized a database of over 3,200 illegally held records in a February raid on the industry-backed covert blacklisting group The Consulting Association.

Trade journal Construction News last week revealed that top contributors last year to the blacklisting organisation were Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine, who were invoiced for 28,122 and £26,840 respectively by the blacklisting firm during 2008. This was on top of their £3,000 annual subscription fee. Balfour Beatty companies were the next biggest contributor, invoiced for £9,000. Individual searches of the blacklisting database cost £2.20.

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