£5.6m compensation for 71 victims of blacklisting

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Some 71 members of construction union UCATT have started to receive compensation over blacklisting…

Companies involved in blacklisting have started to pay out compensation to their victims. A total of 71 UCATT members will receive a share of £5.6m, averaging nearly £80,000 each. Some payments were as high as £200,000, particularly for bricklayers and carpenters who lost money when they were denied employment.

The compensation is being awarded for breaching confidence, for the misuse of private information, and for failing to comply with the Data Protection Act 1988, as well as defamation and loss of earnings.

Acting General Secretary of UCATT Brian Rye said: “UCATT has been fighting the blacklisting case since the day it was revealed.

“This initial tranche of compensation is the first significant milestone in the battle to win justice for blacklisted workers. I hope that this compensation will provide some recompense for these members who have suffered appalling treatment at the hands of the blacklisters.”

UCATT has a total of 160 victims of blacklisting. The remaining cases are still in the process of negotiations regarding compensation. If no settlements are agreed the cases will go to trial in May.

UCATT is also seeking a formal apology to the victims in the High Court. The union said it is also trying to ensure all documentation relating to the case is preserved in the event of a public inquiry into the scandal. Lawyers for the union also said they were trying to secure a guarantee that any further documents discovered in the future would be destroyed by the blacklisting companies to avoid new cases from arising.

Rye added: “I want to praise the bravery of our members in pursuing these claims during this long legal process as well as the dedication and hard work of our solicitors OH Parsons and the barristers who are representing our members.”

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