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Balfour bid shows Carillion lack of priority on blacklisting compensation

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

GMB ask Scottish officials to note Carillion's extra £200m in new Balfour bid with the £6m blacklist compensation offer by 2 firms with combined value of £3.5 billion.

Compensation offer of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate for firms with pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion who have to own up, clean up and pay up and until they do so they should get no more work in Scotland says GMB.

GMB, the union for construction workers, is asking officers and councillors in Scotland dealing with public contracts to compare the new offer Carillion has made for Balfour Beatty which it indicated valued Balfour at £200 million more than it had done previously with the less than £3m each company is offering to compensate the workers they blacklisted.

The combined current valuation of the two blacklisting firms is £3.59 billion with Balfour Beatty valued at £2.09 billion and Carillion at £1.5 billion.

GMB is calling for Carillion and others firms to be excluded from tendering for any further public sector contracts in Scotland until they compensate workers that they blacklisted.

Last week the Scottish Government wrote to Scottish construction firms seeking their help in publicising the Scottish Government's guidelines on blacklisting in relation to public sector contracts.

The Scottish Government said “guidance makes it clear that firms which have engaged in blacklisting have committed an act of grave professional misconduct and should be excluded from public procurement, unless they can demonstrate appropriate remedial action.”

224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion. The names, on the files of the blacklisting body The Consulting Association, were released in the course of an Employment Tribunal in early 2012 when Carillion was accused of blacklisting a construction worker in London.

The 224 people blacklisted by Carillion were either based in or tried to obtain work in the following areas ( with numbers in the area  listed in brackets): Barnsley (1), Birkenhead (2), Blackburn (5), Brentwood (1), Bristol (1), Caernarfon (2), Canvey Island in Essex (1), Chatham in Kent (3), Cheshire (1), Chester (1), Cleator Moor in Cumbria (1), Clwyd (5), Croydon (1), Derby (1), Dundee (1), Edinburgh (2), Ellesmere Port (3), Essex (1), Folkestone (1), Gateshead (1), Glasgow (1), Gravesend (1), Grimsby (1), Hartlepool (2), Hillingdon (1), Irvine (1), Isle of Man (10), Kent (58), Kirkby (1), Leeds (2), Liverpool (14), Livingston (3), Llandudno (1), London (39), Lowestoft (1), Manchester (13), Merseyside (5), Mold (1), North Wales (1), Oldham (1), Plymouth (1), Rayleigh (1), Romford (2), Rotherham (4), Scunthorpe (1), Sheffield (1), Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire (1), Stanford-le-Hope in Essex (2), Sunderland (1), Surrey (1), Thatcham in Berkshire (1), Uxbridge (3), Warrington (1), West Wickham (1), Wirral (5) and Woodbridge in Suffolk (1). See map for aggregated details. Some areas are listed more than once as the addresses on the blacklist are not complete.

This information is contained in a GMB report “BLACKLISTING - illegal corporate bullying endemic, systemic and deep-rooted in Carillion and other companies” which is published at GMB Congress in  Brighton in 2012. The report is available as a pdf on the GMB website at www.gmb.org.uk .

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. See notes to editors 2 for the 97 areas in Scotland listed alphabetically where workers blacklisted are from with numbers.

In July 2014, Leigh Day, acting for GMB, began action in the High Court in London seeking compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other firms. GMB’s claims are joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties.

In June 2014 talks between GMB and lawyers representing eight construction employers on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down in June over the amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers. The eight construction employers are Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC.

Following the breakdown of talks these employers announced that they are unilaterally going ahead with a scheme GMB estimates will cost these employers between £15m and £20m. This is less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms in the talks.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “There is no clearer demonstration of Carillion’s priorities that these two offers from the Board. They are happy to offer an additional £200m to Balfour Beatty shareholders while offering less than £3m compensation to blacklisted workers. Those dealing with public contracts in Scotland should take note.

The current law allows governments and local authorities to bar the likes of Carillion from the tender lists. The 2014 EU Procurement Directive is only going to strengthen their position. The Scottish Government's stance adds serious weight to the fact that blacklisting counts as "grave misconduct" in procurement law.

Anything other than removing these companies from tender lists in Scotland is unthinkable until they make a decent offer to compensate those they blacklisted.

Carillion and the other firms have yet to compensate those they blacklisted. They are in front of the High Court in London again in November as workers seek damages from them.

The total compensation which they offered in June is estimated to be is between £15m and £20m. That is less than £3m per company. This is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people in their working lives and the colossal invasion of their privacy.

The companies should get serious and make proper restitution and close the book on this shameful chapter. 

The eight companies between them have a turnover of over £34 billion and pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion. The employers have to own up, clean up and pay up. Until they do so they have to be excluded from work in Scotland.”

End

Contact for GMB- Justin Bowden on 07710631351 or  Richard Leonard on 07703 465 447 or Harry Donaldson 07835 456 726 or 0141 332 8641 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

For people to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on  07840 897997 or email him blacklisted@gmb.org.uk

For information on High Court action contact Leigh Day: David Standard 07540 332717 or Michael Newman 0795 223 9358 or Chris Benson on 07795425649.

Notes to editors

Numbers blacklisted by area in Scotland

Town

Area

Number of Blacklisted workers

     

Scotland total known

 

582

Aberdeen

 

14

Aberdeenshire

 

13

Airdrie

North Lanarkshire

2

Alloa

Clackmannanshire

3

Ardrossan

North Ayrshire

15

Argyll

Argyll and Bute

1

Arrocher

Argyll and Bute

1

Ayrshire

 

8

Balloch

West Dunbartonshire

1

Balmoral

Aberdeenshire

1

Banffshire

Moray

3

Bathgate

West Lothian

1

Bellshill

North Lanarkshire

2

Bishopsbriggs

East Dunbartonshire

1

Blackhill

Glasgow

1

Bo'ness

Falkirk

2

Bridge of Allen

Stirling

1

Cairnburg

Aberdeenshire

1

Caithness

 

2

Carronshore

Falkirk

1

Clydebank

West Dunbartonshire

3

Coatbridge

North Lanarkshire

7

Cumbernauld

North Lanarkshire

5

Dalry

North Ayrshire

2

Dumbarton

West Dunbartonshire

4

Dumfries

Dumfries and Galloway

5

Dumfrieshire

Dumfries and Galloway

1

Dunblane

Stirling

1

Dundee

 

21

Dunfermline

Fife

3

East Fife

Fife

1

East Kilbride

South Lanarkshire

4

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

52

Elgin

Moray

1

Ellon

Aberdeenshire

1

Erskine

Renfrewshire

1

Falkirk

 

12

Faslane

Argyll and Bute

3

Fife

 

12

Fort William

Highland

1

Fraserburgh

Aberdeenshire

12

Glasgow

 

138

Glenrothes

Fife

3

Grampian

Aberdeenshire

2

Grangemouth

Falkirk

19

Greenock

Inverclyde

16

Hamilton

South Lanarkshire

1

Helensburgh

Argyll and Bute

2

Helmsdale

Highland

1

Inverkeithing

Fife

2

Inverness

Highland

5

Irvine

North Ayrshire

19

Johnstone

Renfrewshire

2

Kilbirnie

North Ayrshire

1

Kilmarnock

East Ayrshire

8

Kilsyth

North Lanarkshire

2

Kilwinning

North Ayrshire

5

Kirkcaldy

Fife

1

Lanark

South Lanarkshire

2

Lanarkshire

 

5

Largs

North Ayrshire

1

Larkhall

South Lanarkshire

1

Livingston

West Lothian

7

Lochgelly

Fife

1

Lumphinans

Fife

1

Midlothian

 

2

Mintlaw

Aberdeenshire

1

Monifeith

Angus

1

Montrose

Angus

4

Morayshire

Moray

1

Motherwell

North Lanarkshire

3

Musselburgh

East Lothian

1

Nairn

Highland

2

New Elgin

Moray

1

Orkney

 

1

Paisley

Renfrewshire

7

Perth

 

2

Peterhead

Aberdeenshire

16

Port Glasgow

Inverclyde

10

Renfrew

Renfrewshire

5

Ross

Highland

1

Rutherglen

South Lanarkshire

2

Saltcoats

North Ayrshire

10

Scotland

 

8

Shotts

North Lanarkshire

1

Skinflats

Falkirk

1

Stevenston

North Ayrshire

11

Stirling

 

4

Stirlingshire

Stirling

1

Strathclyde

East Ayrshire

2

Stuartfield

Aberdeenshire

1

Thurso

Highland

3

Uddington

South Lanarkshire

1

West Calder

West Lothian

1

West Kilbride

North Ayrshire

3

West Lothian

West Lothian

3

Woodisburn

Midlothian

1

 

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