GMB Welcome Action By Welsh Government On Contracts To Blacklisters Until They Own Up, Clean Up And Pay Up
The next stage is to see this rolled out by national and local government across the UK and blacklist the blacklisters from the public contracts they crave says GMB.
GMB, the union for construction workers, commented on the announcement by the Welsh Government that it will take action on blacklisting.
Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said, "This fantastic announcement by the Welsh Government is a game changer. The message to the companies who blacklisted Welsh citizens is loud and clear: 'if you want public contracts in Wales then own up, clean up and pay up'.
The next stage is to see this rolled out by national and local government across the UK and blacklist the blacklisters from the public contracts they crave.
The net is closing on the blacklisters. GMB has filed claims in the High Court against Sir Robert Mc Alpine and Carillion for 100 members blacklisted by them.
Sir Robert McAlpine has broken cover and shopped its mates; like rats in a sack it has directly implicated 9 other construction companies including Carillion, Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Laing O Rourke and Kier, dragging them into the litigation, saying they were all blacklisting too.
Left to their own devices these employers spied and they lied. What the companies say and what the companies do are two different things.
For any worker to be represented by a trade union in their workplace is a civil right that must be protected to the highest level, with new legislation backed by imprisonment and unlimited fines for anyone who interferes with it. For the Labour Party, these should be bread and butter manifesto commitments right now."
Contact: Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Mike Payne 07980 753 124 or Michael Newman from Leigh Day re action in High Court 020 7650 1200 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657
Notes to editors
text of press release on blacklisting:
**EMBARGO: 00:01, Wednesday 11th September 2013**
Welsh Government takes action to eradicate Blacklisting
Public sector bodies in Wales can exclude blacklisters from bidding for public sector contracts under new Welsh Government guidance that aims to eradicate the practice, Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced.
Blacklisting is a practice where individuals have been denied employment opportunities because of their trade union membership or because of their involvement in trade union activity. It is known to have been used by construction companies operating in Wales, and to have involved Welsh construction workers.
A Procurement Advice Note has been issued to all Welsh public bodies to outline the necessary steps that can be taken through procurement to help eradicate blacklisting – which can be very damaging to the careers and livelihoods of trade unionists.
The guidance makes clear those circumstances where Welsh public sector bodies can exclude blacklisters from bidding for a public contract.
Jane Hutt said:
“The use of blacklists is wholly unacceptable and I fully sympathise with the individuals and their families who have suffered a terrible injustice as a consequence of contractors engaging in this practice.
“Procurement is an important part of the overall policy toolkit of the Welsh Government. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for any business in receipt of public procurement expenditure to use blacklists.
“I am determined to take action in Wales. I trust that other Governments in the UK will take similar action if they have not already done so."