MP claims construction workers are still being blacklisted

Grant Prior 7 years ago
Share

Labour MP Chuka Umunna has claimed blacklisting of workers is still a problem on Crossrail.

His claims came in a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday when Umunna said workers on the project have been blacklisted for raising safety concerns.

The industry vowed to put the blacklisting scandal behind it following compensation payments of more than £50m to hundreds of historic victims.

But Umunna produced evidence of ongoing victimisation – which has been denied by Crossrail.

He said: “The first case concerns emails that I have been passed which were circulated between contractors and the employee relations department at Crossrail which detail questionable surveillance of workers that took place at a peaceful demonstration at a Crossrail site in 2016.

“The evidence which I will supply after this debate to the minister illustrates that a number of construction workers were being closely watched there and sensitive personal information was being collected in relation to them.

“Two of the workers concerned who were subject to that surveillance have since sought to obtain further employment on Crossrail and did so through agencies advertising positions.

“However as soon as they relayed their names there was a delay and then they were subsequently given an excuse as to why the positions have been filled.

“One sub-contractor has actually told Unite that the consequences of him employing a Unite member would be the refusal of future work and for obvious reasons the subcontractor does not wish to disclose their identity.”

Umunna raised a second case of an electrician, who has been seeking work in the industry since “raising a grievance whilst working on Crossrail. He has since applied for hundreds of job vacancies almost always being turned down.”

The worker served Crossrail with a subject access request and Mr Umunna has been given a copy of those documents.

Umunna, said: They reveal Crossrail and three of its contractors exchanging sensitive personal data concerning this individual’s previous employment, and the issues and grievances he had raised there.

“On the face of it the data appears to be processed for the purpose of determining the individual’s suitability for employment related to his trade union activities.

“The very strong inference from the documents is that some kind of vetting operation was in operation between Crossrail, its contractors and the agencies involved.”

A spokesperson for Crossrail said: “Crossrail Limited is not aware of, and has seen no evidence of, blacklisting of any kind in connection with the Crossrail project.

“Crossrail seeks to maintain good relations with the trades unions and meets with them on a regular basis.

“In our recent meetings with Unite no such concerns have been raised with us. Indeed Unite has previously issued a joint statement with a Crossrail contractor noting that there has been no contravention of the blacklisting regulations on Crossrail.”

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Contemporary blacklisting is occurring in construction. The companies concerned have learned nothing from the Consulting Association scandal.

“Construction will only finally rid itself of the stench of blacklisting when effective laws are introduced which bar blacklisters from public sector contracts, effective anti-blacklisting laws are introduced which make it a criminal offence and there is a full public inquiry into the practice.”

Blacklist campaigners are now calling for Sir Robert McAlpine to be removed from the £29m Big Ben refurbishment contract.

McAlpine said it has “a zero tolerance policy towards blacklisting, illegal or unfair recruitment practices.” and that “blacklisting has no place now nor in the future at Sir Robert McAlpine.

Latest news

A2Dominion reins in new-build and cuts development team

Housing association to stop private new build sales in big strategy switch
1 day ago

Sellafield partnership appoints final key delivery partners

Altrad and Kaefer bag £180m access, insulation and painting deal
1 day ago

Go-ahead for Milton Keynes’ largest private rental project

Platform_ to build 20-storey scheme of 335 flat next to train station
1 day ago

Health centre canned as build costs double in four years

Devon NHS stands down plans for Health and Wellbeing Centre in Teignmouth
1 day ago

Family confirm death of Des O’Rourke

Deputy chair and co-founder of Laing O'Rourke dies aged 75
2 days ago

Plans approved for major phase of £2.5bn Salford Crescent

Crescent Innovation will help create global research hub
1 day ago

Deal to kick-start 3,000-home Northstowe town centre

Labour Government acts to unlock next phase of new town near Cambridge
2 days ago

Striking new-look for Canary Wharf HSBC tower

Large chunks of upper floorplate to be removed in major overhaul
2 days ago

Kier halves debt to £115m after strong trading year

Order book up 7% to £10.8bn with 85% of work secured for year ahead
2 days ago

Developer blasts “unfair” power charges on huge Liverpool site

Romal Capital unhappy about site power hook-up costs
2 days ago

Regal to start Wembley 1000-bed student scheme

Backer found to deliver £400m twin tower student scheme
2 days ago

Breyer Group bags £163m housing repair deal

Major repair and maintenance win from Kingston Council
2 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick lands Piccadilly Line upgrade deal

Contractor to work on Cockfosters depot
2 days ago

26 face fight to renew spots on £1bn NEPO civils deal

Next generation framework to start in March 2025
3 days ago

Go-ahead for £170m King’s Cross life sciences office project

Innovative arched design to carry landmark building over railway tunnels
3 days ago

Mitie buys power contractor ESM for £8.5m

Building FM firm strengthens high voltage contracting offer
3 days ago

New vision unveiled for £5bn Liverpool Waters

More housing included in central docks area after Labour £55m funding boost
4 days ago

String of contract wins sees turnover surge 25% at Mace

Construction division sees revenue leap to £1.73bn
3 days ago

Morgan Sindall wins £32m Walsall waste centre

Contract will transform former metal factory site
3 days ago

Kier wins £30m Greenwich teaching block

London South East Colleges plans to spend £47m on Greenwich Campus redevelopment
4 days ago

Blenheim House Construction applies for administration

Surrey contractor employs around 80 staff generating £87m turnover
4 days ago

GMI chief jumps to Henry Boot Construction

Lee Powell will replace Tony Shaw as MD when he leaves at the end of 2024
4 days ago

Avant Homes makes £109m loss

House builder reveals huge loss just days after entering Crest Nicholson bid race
5 days ago

Greggs unveils plans for giant distribution centre

Bakery giant to build 311,551 sq ft logistics centre in Kettering
4 days ago

£330m south east London 1,250 homes scheme approved

Outline planning for New Belvedere development near the Thames
4 days ago

Green light for Birmingham 1,200-bed student scheme

Cambrian Wharf project will rise to 14 and 35 storeys
4 days ago

Welsh fit-out specialist files administration notice

£30m turnover employee-owned Paramount D&B lodges court notice
5 days ago

Skanska signs £105m London Millbank office rebuild

Original 1915 building facade will be dismantled and rebuilt
5 days ago

Historic facade contractor goes into administration

Administrator seeking buyer for Charles Henshaw & Sons
1 week ago

Three-year HS2 station box excavation completed

Enough clay to fill 300 Olympic sized swimming pools removed from Old Oak Common site
5 days ago

Contractor services