December 20, 2017

Construction workers seek compensation for blacklisting claims

News Article

A fresh round of legal action has been launched following further allegations of construction worker ‘blacklisting.’

Unite the union is pursuing compensation on behalf for more than 70 of its members after blacklisting claims emerged.

The latest action targets key individuals linked to an organisation known as the Consulting Association, which has been used within the construction industry to monitor more than 3,000 workers.

Court documents have named four individuals who all held the role of chairman at the Consulting Association: David Cochrane and Cullum McAlpine, previously of Sir Robert McAlpine; Danny O’Sullivan, formerly of Kier; and Stephen Quant, previously of Skanska.

A further nine are also listed in the action, which alleges unlawful conspiracy, breach of privacy, defamation and Data Protection Act offences.

Unite’s Assistant General Secretary for Legal Affairs, Howard Beckett, said: “Unite is determined to ensure that the people directly responsible for blacklisting workers and ruining their lives are brought to justice and have to answer for their actions.

“Since 2009, the individuals who were the controlling minds behind the systematic blacklisting of workers have sought to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. The workers who had their lives ruined deserve to see the leading blacklisters in court.”

Sir Robert McAlpine has issued a statement saying that it has a “zero-tolerance policy towards blacklisting, illegal or unfair recruitment practices and we expect all our sub-contractors to comply with this”.

Adam Davis, a Partner and Construction Law expert, said: “Blacklisting within the construction sector was widespread until the introduction of new legislation in 2009 which outlawed the practice.

“Despite the formal closure of the previous compensation scheme, this latest case illustrates that the courts are still willing to hear outstanding claims that are still to be settled.”

For help and advice on all aspects of construction and engineering law, please contact us.