SIPTU has called on Irish construction workers who may have been included on a ‘blacklist’ utilised by leading British building firms from the late 1960s until 2009, to contact the GMB trade union so they can been assisted in seeking compensation.
Following pressure from trade unions, a Construction Workers Compensation Scheme has been established by eight of the companies who utilised the blacklist to compensate workers.
More than 40 construction companies used the services of the Consulting Association, a firm that compiled a blacklist of 3,219 names of workers it accused of being ‘troublemakers’ on sites across the UK. The vast majority of those on the list are unaware of their inclusion.
The blacklist was discovered during a raid by the UK Information Commissioner on the offices of the Consulting Association in 2009. Many of the workers, including hundreds of Irish, were blacklisted because they were trade union or political activists or raised safety concerns.
GMB Blacklisted Liaison Officer, Phil Read, said: “Following pressure the Information Commissioner’s Office is attempting to contact people who were included on the list. However, they are utilising information from the list or National Insurance numbers to locate those affected. In many cases this information is out of date.”
He added: “The GMB has been provided with a redacted version of the list. It would seem that a large number of Irish workers were affected by the activities of the Consulting Association. For instance the majority of names included on the list for the Greater London area would seem to be Irish workers.
“If workers contact us we can confirm whether they are included on the list or not. If their names do feature we will then assist them in seeking adequate redress.”
SIPTU Organiser, Martin Meere, said: “As Irish workers were a particular target of the Consulting Association it is quite likely that many people resident in Ireland are due compensation but are unaware of it. If a worker believes they may have been targeted in this manner we would strongly advise them to contact our colleagues in the GMB who will assist them in seeking compensation and legal redress.”
If you believe you may be on the list, or know someone who may be, please contact GMB Blacklisted Liaison Officer, Phil Read, on 0044 7840 897997 or at firstname.lastname@example.org