Blacklisting and Procurement

Wednesday 2 December 2015, all day

Motion detail

This Assembly rejects the shameful, decades-old practice of blacklisting that has in the UK construction industry, ruined the lives of thousands of workers and their families[1][31]. The wide scale nature of blacklisting was illustrated by the Information Commissioner’s 2009 raid on the offices of the notorious Consulting Association, which uncovered a blacklist containing the names of thousands of construction workers[2][32].

Over thirty large construction companies used the Consulting Association database, which contained information about construction workers’ personal relationships, trade union activity, and employment history[3][33]. This Assembly notes that most of the workers on the blacklist of the Consulting Association were trade unionists, many of them blacklisted for raising legitimate health and safety concerns with their employer.

This Assembly is therefore concerned to learn that Keir Group – a founder member of the Consulting Association[4][34] – is involved in the building, development, and maintenance of the nine PFI fire stations that are being constructed across London. This is especially disappointing, given the Mayor’s categorical statement in 2013 that:

"I do not condone or tolerate the blacklisting of workers, whether for raising health and safety concerns or for any other reason.”[5][35]

This Assembly is determined that blacklisting should never occur again and calls on the Mayor to emphasise to all functional bodies that every employee must be protected in raising health and safety concerns and their fundamental right to trade union membership without the fear of reprisals be upheld; and calls on LFEPA to examine whether its internal procurement processes and/or commercial law allows it to exclude contractors that have been implicated in the practice of blacklisting, such as Kier Group.”

[1][31] Nigel Morris, Thousands of workers 'blacklisted' over political views, Independent, 06.08.12

[2][32] Ibid

[3][33] Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain, On the blacklist: how did the UK’s top building firms get secret information on their workers?, Guardian, 27.02.15

[4][34] Scottish Affairs Committee (2013),  Ninth Report Blacklisting in Employment: Interim Report

[5][35] Mayor of London’s response to 16 January 2013 Plenary motion on blacklisting, 05.03.13