UCATT stops blacklisters getting victims homes addresses

Construction union UCATT has taken High Court action to block the main construction companies, who were responsible for ruining the lives of thousands of workers, obtaining their victims’ current addresses.

Yesterday (10 June) the main blacklisting companies applied to the High Court to require the Information Commissioners Office to provide them with the current addresses of their blacklisting victims.

UCATT approached the High Court to block the move and the case has now been adjourned until 10th July. UCATT were represented in court by barrister John Samson.

Last year eight of the companies involved in the Consulting Association blacklist (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci Plc) created The Compensation Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS).

TCWCS are preparing to launch a counterfeit compensation scheme which would not provide justice to the victims of the blacklist and amounts to a glorified PR exercise by the blacklisting companies. Workers who have had the lives destroyed by blacklisting would be gagged and receive just a few thousand pounds in compensation.

Last year the construction companies behind TCWCS used a highly secret High Court procedure to force the Information Commissioners Office to provide them with the original Consulting Association blacklist.

The blacklisters solicitors Pinsent Masons are attempting to secure a further High Court Order that will force the ICO to provide them with the up to date names of the blacklisted victims. In 2013 after years of delay and inaction the ICO undertook efforts to contact the blacklisted victims and cross referenced their records with the Department of Work and Pensions.

In the draft Court Order the blacklisters said: “The Respondent (the ICO) shall produce to the Applicants and/or their representatives up-to-date address details it has for those individuals whose names appear on the TCA data seized by the ICO in 2009”.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “The blacklisters have no right to this information. It is the equivalent of a witness in a murder trial having their new identity given to the murderer. If the blacklisting companies get the new addresses there is nothing stopping them starting a new fully updated blacklist.”

The TCWCS are pressing ahead with their plans despite clear opposition from all unions and groups representing blacklisted workers. It also flies in the face of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee which published a report in March which said “it was not acceptable for blacklisters to establish a unilateral compensation scheme.”

Mr Murphy added: “The victims of blacklisting deserve justice rather than being given a few crumbs of compensation from a counterfeit scheme.”

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