Socialist Worker

Building bosses targeted health and safety reps with blacklist

Issue No. 2143

The scandal of the construction blacklist is outraging workers across the industry.

Over 40 construction firms, including Balfour Beatty, Robert McAlpine and Skanska, bought illegal data from a shadowy company called The Consulting Association before employing workers, or not, on their sites.

It has been revealed that the main target of the blacklist were health and safety representatives.

A number of safety reps who contacted Socialist Worker spoke of difficulties finding work after highlighting unsafe sites and dangerous working practices.

One said, “I lost a job for pushing to make a site safe. I have been on a blacklist which has made my life a misery. By attacking health and safety reps they have put lives at risk.”

Last year 72 workers died on construction sites.

Another worker told Socialist Worker, “I am furious with the bosses over this. They make millions of pounds yet they are deciding on people’s lives on a whim.

“I’m really pissed off with the unions. They say they are tackling this, but last week they met Gordon Brown and all they got were more promises.”

The 1999 Employment Relations Act included provisions that make blacklisting illegal – but these have never been enacted because New Labour claimed there was “no proof” of blacklisting.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, who recently seized the blacklist, received over 100 phone calls in the first hours of opening a line from workers who believe they may be on the list. If you believe you have been blacklisted ring the commissioner’s office on 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 545 745.

If you have a story about the blacklist in the construction industry ring Socialist Worker on 020 7819 1180

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