GMB Call On Central Bedfordshire Council To Reopen Excluding Blacklisting Construction Firms For Tenders For Council Contracts

Companies have admitted blacklisting but no compensation has been paid for the blight on the lives of people and their families 103 of whom are from the East Of England says GMB

GMB is calling on Central Bedfordshire Council to reopen the issue of excluding all construction companies that have admitted blacklisting workers from council contracts until they compensate the victims.

GMB is supported this stance by the South West Bedfordshire Labour Party. On 5th December the statement and questions below were made to get the issue reopened at a council committee meeting as follows:

The minutes of the Executive Committee of the 5th of November, item E/13/59, refer to the adoption of a Draft Equality and Diversity policy. 

That policy ‘informs employees, elected members and all those who work for, or on behalf of the Council, of Central Bedfordshire’s approach to equality and diversity and how the Council will act to:  Eliminate unlawful discrimination…..’

At its meeting on the 13th of June 2013 Full Council rejected the following motion:-

“In view of the recent revelations about the blacklisting of workers in the construction industry this Council condemns such practices and disassociates itself from any involvement in them.  Accordingly it will make clear to all construction companies bidding for Council contracts that any unlawful blacklisting of workers is unacceptable.

It will take all possible legal steps to remove companies that have engaged in blacklisting and have failed to compensate affected workers from its tender processes until compensation is paid”.

That rejection is contrary to the council’s own policy to ‘act to eliminate unlawful discrimination.’  What action does the council intend to take to resolve the discrepancy between its actions and its stated policies?

There were 103 victims of blacklisting in Eastern Region. See notes to editors as to where they came from. Most do not yet know they are on the list.

GMB is taking action in the High Court seeking compensation for up to 100 GMB members who were the victims of blacklisting.

Warren Kenny, GMB Senior Organiser said, “The council’s rejection is contrary to the council’s own policy to ‘act to eliminate unlawful discrimination.’ GMB want to know what action does the council intend to take to resolve the discrepancy between its actions and its stated policies?

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. 2,767 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist are not aware that their names are on the blacklist after the ICO decided not to contact them directly.

GMB has contacted councils across the UK about the practice of blacklisting. Many have  approved council motions against blacklisting and in the process asked council officers to investigate ways that council contracts can be reviewed, rescinded or exclusion clauses built in for known blacklisters. GMB want Central Bedfordshire Council to look again at the issue and do the same.”

Ends

Contact: Warren Kenny, GMB Senior Organiser on 07843 632394 

Notes to editors

NUMBERS BLACKLISTED BY AREA IN EASTERN REGION

Town Area

Number of Blacklisted workers

 

 

 
Eastern region

total

103

 

 

 
Basildon Essex

2

Billericay Essex

1

Braintree Essex

1

Brentwood Essex

2

Caister Norfolk

1

Cambridge Cambridgeshire

9

Canvey Island Essex

4

Chelmsford Essex

2

Cheshunt Hertfordshire

3

Colchester Essex

4

Dunstable Bedfordshire

1

East Tilbury Essex

1

Essex

 

32

Great Yarmouth Norfolk

1

Hatfield Hertfordshire

2

Hertfordshire

 

4

Hitchen Hertfordshire

1

Ipswich Suffolk

3

Kings Lynn Norfolk

2

Leigh-on-Sea Essex

1

Leiston Suffolk

2

Lowestoft Suffolk

2

Luton Bedfordshire

3

Norfolk

 

1

Norwich Norfolk

1

Peterborough Cambridgeshire

3

South Benfleet Essex

1

Southend-on-Sea Essex

5

Stevenage Hertfordshire

2

Suffolk Suffolk

2

Thetford Norfolk

1

Watford Hertfordshire

2

Westcliffe-on-Sea Essex

1

Posted in Central Bedfordshire News
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