Socialist Worker

Construction blacklisters get off

Issue No. 2161

Companies behind the secret blacklist in construction will escape scot free.

Ian Kerr was fined £5,000 last week for operating the list after pleading guilty to breaking the Data Protection Act.

But the companies behind the list – including Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert McAlpine, Costain and Laing O’Rourke – have not broken any laws. This is despite the fact the list was used to bar thousands of trade unionists from work.

More than 40 companies gave Kerr’s agency a total of £600,000 over the past five years. The companies provided up to 90 percent of the blacklist’s information.

The case was moved to a crown court after the magistrate at the original trial said the maximum fine of £5,000 was “grossly inadequate”.

Apparently, the crown court judge did not agree.

Article information

Tue 21 Jul 2009, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2161
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