Socialist Worker

Select committee report slams bosses for misleading blacklisted workers

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2447

Protesting in Glasgow against blacklisting in 2012

Protesting in Glasgow against blacklisting in 2012 (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A committee of MPs slammed a compensation scheme set up by building bosses as “misleading, callous and manipulative”.

The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee released a report on Friday of last week. 

It said the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme launched by eight of the 30 companies that blacklisted workers was an “act of bad faith”. 

The eight companies are Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC.

Labour MP Ian Davidson, chair of the Committee, said “To mislead MPs is a serious issue but to mislead blacklisted workers and their families by implying that the trade unions were in agreement with the scheme is both callous and manipulative.

“Given the denial and duplicitous practices we have encountered on the part of many of the companies who were complicit in blacklisting, we have no confidence in the sector.”

He also made the call that those firms “who have refused to self-cleanse” should be “banned from all contracts funded, in whole or in part, by public money code of practice”.

The committee has backed the call for a full public inquiry into blacklisting. This is something the Labour Party has said it supported last week. 

Justin Bowden, GMB union national officer, said the report “reflects how sick to death the MPs and everyone else is of the construction companies and their arrogant, bully boy attitude.


“Strip away the weasel words and crocodile tears from the blacklisting companies and their highly paid entourage of spin doctors and lawyers and the simple truth is that MPs of all political parties involved in the Inquiry into Blacklisting in Employment do not trust the companies.”

Dave Smith, secretary of Blacklist Support Group added, “This damning report on the dying days of this parliament condemns the grandees of the construction industry for the blacklisting wretches they are.

“The mis-named compensation scheme set up unilaterally by the blacklisting firms is a complete insult to those who have lost their jobs, their homes and in some cases their lives.

 “The evidence that senior officers from undercover secret police spying units colluded with the illegal blacklisting conspiracy is a stain on democracy.

 “Blacklisting and the lust for profit has caused the deaths of building workers. The directors of the blacklisting companies and the senior police officers who orchestrated the spying on union activists have blood on their hands.”

Blacklisted—the secret war between big business and union activists by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain. Available from or phone 020 7637 1848


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Tue 31 Mar 2015, 15:59 BST
Issue No. 2447
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