Blacklisted workers accept compensation from firms
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Legal action was launched when it was revealed that the contractors including Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci had funded a secret system to blacklist workers. The database contained details of workers' trade union activities and past employment conduct; some were cited for voicing concerns about health and safety while on sites.
Action was taken in 2009 against 30 firms, including Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci after the Information Commissioning Office seized 3200 files kept by the Consulting Association.
Individuals represented by UCATT, GMB and legal firm GCR have accepted compensation. Approximately 90 workers represented by UNITE are expected to settle at a high court hearing on 9 May.
A statement from UCATT said: "The construction companies have offered financial settlements which all claimants represented by UCATT, GMB and GCR have now accepted as fair and reasonable."
Legal action was taken against 30 construction contractors who had funded a secret database to blacklist workers. The database, collated by the Consulting Association (TCA), contained details of workers’ trade union activities and past employment conduct, including those who had raised health and safety issues.Last week the UCATT and GMB unions and solicitors GCR announced that they had reached an out of court settlement for their affected members.
Weedon was carrying out general repair work at the home of Antony Minehan in Southport, Merseyside, on 26 March 2014. Abacus Scaffolding North West had erected the scaffolding for some cavity wall insulation work. There were no guardrails, ladders, trap ends or ties on the scaffold and it had insufficient raker outriggers to ensure its stability.
Part of the boiler house at the power station collapsed on 23 February during demolition work by Coleman and Company, killing one person, leaving three missing in the wreckage and injuring five others.In a statement, Coleman and Company said the move was “hugely disappointing”. “We have now reached a stage where we will be handing over the remaining recovery operation to another contractor within the next few weeks. This is of course hugely disappointing as we all wanted to recover our friends and colleagues and return them to their families,” it said.
The Bill, now the Trade Union Act, includes government concessions on ministers’ power to limit public sector trade unions representatives’ time off for duties including safety and health monitoring.The House of Lords had previously passed an amendment to delete Clause 13 of the Bill and thus remove ministers’ power to impose a cap on union reps’ facilities time.
On 14 April 2010 a subcontractor, James Sim, was working in the 2.4 m-deep unshored trench, laying cable ducting for an offshore windfarm that was being built off the Lancashire coast. Sim was trapped in the trench when it collapsed on him. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Balfour Beatty failed to adequately assess the works or control the excavation.
The man, an employee of Mitchell Roofing, was replacing panels when he slipped and fell 7 m through the inner roof sheet fracturing his skull, York Magistrates’ court heard. The company had been contracted to replace rooflights at Monk Bridge Construction’s premises in Elvington, York. Before the incident, the firm had clad a new building and had taken the appropriate safety precautions, but the minor work of replacing the roof panels had not been properly planned.