Unite pledges to drag key blacklisting boss Cullum McAlpine before the courts

A construction boss who played a pivotal role in orchestrating a blacklisting scandal that targeted union safety activists will face the courts, the union Unite has pledged.

The union said it “is closing in” on Cullum McAlpine who it wants to account for his actions in court. Unite is taking fresh legal action on behalf of workers who were blacklisted by the Consulting Association. Most of the major construction companies in the UK used its services.

Unlike the previous court case which concluded in 2016, Unite says it will be seeking to ensure Cullum McAlpine, the original chair of the Consulting Association and a director of UK construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine, is required to give evidence in court under oath. The trial is set to begin on 4 June and could last for six weeks.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Unite is totally committed to ensuring that the key individuals behind blacklisting workers and ruining their lives as a result are required to account for their crimes in the public arena of a court.”

He added: “This is the minimum that the affected workers deserve. They need to see those responsible in the dock and finally forced to account for their actions. The forthcoming court case will finally ensure this will happen.”

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “There remain employers in construction and other industries who continue to believe it is somehow acceptable to engage in the disgusting and deceitful practice of blacklisting, to ruin people’s lives.

“We are seeing blacklisting ‘outsourced’ to labour suppliers at the beck and call of large firms and acting as unaccountable instigators of union busting. That’s why Unite is still fighting for justice for those who were previously affected but is also fighting to stamp out contemporary blacklisting.”

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