McAlpine drags rivals into its blacklist defence

Sir Robert McAlpine has added at least nine other contractors as co-defendants against a multi-million pound legal action by blacklisted building workers. Solicitors Guney, Clark and Ryan are acting for more than 100 construction workers who launched the compensation claim last year. The claim was made against McAlpine, who were defending the action on their own.

The company told trade journal Construction Enquirer: “Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd can confirm that it has issued Part 20 Claims against nine construction groups in relation to its on-going defence of allegations of ‘blacklisting’ of workers in the industry. Sir Robert McAlpine believes that all of the companies that have been served these legal documents were participants in The Consulting Association and all will join Sir Robert McAlpine as co-defendants in the action brought by a small number of construction workers.”

The nine major contractors added to the list of defendants are Balfour Beatty, BAM, Carillion, Costain, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, Skanska, Vinci and AMEC.  When subsidiaries are included, the list runs to 34 firms.

Steve Acheson, a spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group, said: “The entire construction industry is now on trial in the High Court.” He added: “We are fighting for compensation for our families but we are also fighting for all those workers who lost their lives on building projects when safety reps were systematically targeted by these companies who value profits above human life.”

Sean Curran, a partner at Guney, Clark and Ryan solicitors, said: “We are very happy that the action is now progressing through the court system. Ultimately we look forward to the day we obtain redress on behalf of our clients and in doing so, ensuring they can move on with their careers and personal lives without this experience continuing to blight them.”

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