High court battle for blacklisted workers to begin

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Some 700 blacklisted construction workers are set to start legal proceedings tomorrow against firms after a long battle…

High court proceedings are set to begin tomorrow in the row over blacklisting. Some 700 workers are seeking compensation against eight major construction firms after they admitted last year to using the tactics.

The cases are being brought against Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Skanska, Kier, Vinci, and Laing O’Rourke. Workers, represented by unions GMB, Ucatt, and Unite will start legal proceedings tomorrow at London’s High Court.

It is hoped new evidence could help with the cases, after a computer used by blacklisting firm The Consulting Association was recovered.

The Blacklist Support Group’s secretary Dave Smith said: “Lots of people involved in the blacklisting conspiracy will be having sleepless nights worrying what is about to come out.”

Construction firms used the process of blacklisting to make hiring decisions. Workers deemed to be troublemakers were refused work as a result.

Blacklisting came to light in 2009 after the Information Commissioner’s office raided The Consulting Association. Some 3,000 personal profiles relating to workers, activists, and trade unionists were found, but a significant amount of evidence was never removed. Many speculate the figure affected could be even higher due to this.

Earlier this year, 71 workers were paid out millions in compensation after they were illegally blacklisted by construction firms.

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