Blacklist the blacklisters!

The Scottish affairs committee has said that any construction firms that blacklist or have not made appropriate amends for past blacklisting should be denied public contracts.

14 Mar 2014| News

The Committee believes that simple “ending blacklisting” is not enough and have said that any firms that do not make reparations for past blacklisting will be banned from public funds. In order to make amends, firms who have previously been found to have a blacklist must go through the process of “self-cleaning”. This process includes an admission of guilt, paying full compensation to those blacklisted and various other steps.

Ian Davison MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“Had these companies not been caught, blacklisting would still be happening, and indeed we have heard evidence that it is still going on in some areas. Although blacklisting is illegal now, it is not enough to just end the practice. Reparations must be made, and steps must be taken so that we are pro-actively preventing these practices – and the health and safety problems they lead to – rather than just stopping it when it happens. Companies that are caught blacklisting now, or do not make the proper reparations, or do not apply agreed standards of practice in their contracts, should be “blacklisted” themselves and barred from obtaining any publicly funded work.

It is impossible to fully quantify the damage that may have been done to people’s careers and livelihoods, and to their families, as well as to health and safety on site, by these practices, but restitution must be made. It must not be left just to the companies themselves to determine what this should be, but it must be agreed after negotiations with the relevant trade unions and representatives of blacklisted workers. It must also be applied to all the victims of blacklisting who have yet to be identified, and where the victim has died, compensation must go to their families.

For more information see our briefing on blacklisting or our publication publication