A scrutiny report commissioned by Labour Councillors looking at the illegal practice of Construction Industry Blacklisting has just been published by Islington Council.
This is the latest stage in the campaign to end blacklisting that for more than 20 years has seen employers in the construction industry use secret files to vet new recruits and keep union and health and safety activists out of work.
The report which ran from June to December this year heard evidence from a variety of sources and has published recommendations for adoption by the Council to ensure they no longer enter into contracts with companies implicated in blacklisting.
Council will do this by adding a clause to future terms and conditions that will allow the council to terminate a contract if a contractor or sub-contractor is found to be blacklisting.
Cllr. Gallagher Chair of the Policy and Performance Committee that commissioned the report said:
‘Blacklisting is a shameful practice and workers who were placed on this list were deprived of an honest living through no fault of their own. Islington Labour along with the GMB have been at the forefront of the campaign against blacklisting and my report shows the measures local authorities can take to ensure this terrible practice is never allowed to happen again.
I will also be writing to the Secretary of State for Local Government to request an urgent public enquiry be instituted’
Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council said:
Blacklisting is a national scandal that has destroyed lives. Here in Islington we are sending a message that we will not do business with people who have ruined decent people’s lives in this way."
Paul Kenny the General Secretary of the GMB said:
‘The GMB is delighted that Labour in Islington has taken an important step to ensure those companies guilty of blacklisting workers will get no more of the public contracts until they own up, clean up and pay up for what they did to their 3,213 victims. It’s now time other Local Authorities follow Islington’s lead.’
Claude Moraes MEP said:
"The practice of blacklisting employees in the UK has been operating for decades and has devastating effects on reputations, livelihoods and families.
"I warmly welcome Islington’s report and along with the recent work in the European Parliament, Labour is making real strides to ensure this abhorrent practice is stopped and never returns.”
The report will be formally submitted to the Council’s Executive Meeting on 14th January 2104.
The draft recommendations can be seen here :