THERE are fears St Helens construction workers may have been affected by the “national scandal” of blacklisting.

A senior councillor voiced his concerns as growing alarm about the practice in the industry prompted St Helens politicians to unanimously call for it to be outlawed.

The motion at a meeting of St Helens Council comes after a number of firms across the country were challenged about ‘blacklisting’ employees for carrying out legitimate trade union activities.

Labour says files on thousands of UK workers resulted in them being denied employment.

Their shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has described it as a "national scandal".

Councillor Richard McCauley, a cabinet member in St Helens, said: “Due to the concentration of construction activity in and around large towns and cities, many of the alleged victims live in these areas.

“Many residents of St Helens may have been disadvantaged by this practice.”

Many workers have no idea they were included on the blacklist, which was uncovered by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in a raid in 2009.

According to reports, analysis has showed that it contained names of 173 Merseyside workers.

There was unanimous support at a meeting of St Helens Council for the practice of blacklisting, which has been prevalent in some companies, to be outlawed.

Councillor McCauley added: “Employees are being branded political activists just for raising safety concerns and carrying out legitimate trade union business.

“This archaic practice must be stamped out.”

Have you been affected by blacklisting? Contact the Star by emailing or call 01744 762766