Labour MP Jim Sheridan has called for construction firms guilty of blacklisting trade unionists to be barred from publicly funded projects. The MP was speaking at a 27 August Blacklist Support Group protest outside the Glasgow HQ of construction giant Balfour Beatty.
The Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP (left) said he would lobby government on the issue. “Any contracts from British taxpayers’ money – don’t give them to criminals like Balfour Beatty who are blacklisting people,” he said.
Mr Sheridan told the demonstration that years ago he had been blacklisted by the Economic League, a predecessor to the covert blacklisting agency The Consulting Association shutdown by the Information Commissioner’s Office, because of his own trade union activities.
“I want to send a message to Balfour Beatty and the big construction firms: it really doesn’t have to be this way,” he said. “It is a long time since the days when trade unions and trade unionists were seen as the enemy within. You don’t have to get into blacklisting. How much profit do they want to make before they stop attacking and victimising people at the workplace?” Mr Sheridan warned: “If you’re gonna keep blacklisting people – then we’re coming after you.”
The protest had been called to expose the role played by Balfour Beatty in The Consulting Association blacklisting scandal. The firm’s human resources director Gerry Harvey came in for particular criticism after it was revealed in parliament recently that he had attended meetings of The Consulting Association.