Scottish Affairs Committee: Blacklisting in Employment

Ian Kerr of The Consulting Association and his evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee: Blacklisting in Employment.

UCATT has demanded a public inquiry into the blacklisting scandal after convicted blacklister Ian Kerr gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee on 27th November 2012.

During his evidence, Mr Kerr who was Chief Officer of The Consulting Association, confirmed that his organisation was involved in blacklisting during the Olympics.  Kerr named Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Skanska as using blacklisting during the ground works.  This confirmed what UCATT had said to the Committee earlier in October.

Ian Kerr's written statement reveals that Sir Robert McAlpine funded the establishment of The Consulting Association and also paid the costs associated with winding down the company after the raid by the Information Commissioner's Office.  You can watch Ian Kerr giving evidence via the Parliament web site.

UCATT's evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee: Blacklisting in Employment.

On October 30th 2012, UCATT exposed the activities of the two leading blacklisting firms Sir Robert McAlpine and Skanska, while giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. Both companies were undertaking several high profile public sector contracts, while they were blacklisting workers.

Giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee, UCATT’s General Secretary Steve Murphy and National Political Officer Jim Kennedy, revealed how during The Consulting Association’s final year of operation Skanska paid for £28,122.60 of blacklisting checks and Sir Robert McAlpine £26,842.20.

Mr Kennedy said:  “In an internal review, Skanska admitted that they were both using the Consulting Association to vet workers and were supplying information to the list, yet they escaped without penalty or sanction.”

Mr Murphy drew the committee’s attention to the spike in Sir Robert McAlpine’s blacklisting activity in the 3rd quarter of 2008. From July –September 2008 McAlpine’s spent £12,839.20 making 5,836 blacklist checks, a total of 63 per day.

Mr Murphy showed how this peak corresponded with McAlpine’s building of the Olympic Stadium which began construction in late May 2008. McAlpine was also part of the consortium involved in the building of the M74 in Glasgow, which began work at the same time.

Mr Murphy said: “Sadly, blacklisting is a live and current issue but it is difficult to provide hard evidence for such a clandestine activity.  If we don’t legislate to outlaw blacklisting now, we will be having the same discussion again in the future when further blacklisting activities come to light.  In the meantime, good workers are unable to secure employment because of their involvement in legitimate trade union duties.”

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