RMT members were on the blacklist too

Members of a third trade union have been revealed as being victims of the infamous construction industry blacklist.

In February, officials of the Information Commissioner’s Office raided the Consulting Association. They discovered secret files on some 3,200 workers in the construction industry which had been maintained on behalf of building firms for vetting purposes.

A report in Tribune magazine says of the 238 files released so far, most have been on members of the UCATT and Unite unions – but now it turns out that some RMT members were blacklisted as well.

Steve Hedley, an RMT official, obtained his 15-page file which records how he was sacked from working on the Channel Tunnel project – and couldn’t get work for three months afterwards. He said: “There is also reference to a general RMT file and other individual RMT members have received their files.”

The news comes as the first employment tribunal hearings arising from the blacklisting scandal reach court. Some 23 different workers have filed around 80 different cases against the biggest names in the construction industry.

The tribunals will be heard together and an initial case management discussion takes place on 24 November in Manchester. This will help decide the scope and the timings of the hearings.

Those bringing the case are planning a demonstration to coincide with the hearing. Meanwhile, the government says that it plans to introduce new rules outlawing blacklisting “as soon as possible”.

DEMONSTRATE! Earlier rumours that the employment tribunal hearing commencing on 24 November in Manchester will not allow access to member of the public are unfounded, the Blacklist Support Group has said. It says members of the Press and public are allowed into the hearing and should be encouraged to attend.

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