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Nine St Helens construction workers on blacklist
9:32am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
NINE construction workers from St Helens were blacklisted because of their involvement with unions, it is claimed.
The GMB has revealed the employees are among 507 workers in the north west that were on a list seized by the Information Commissioners Office in 2009.
It was used by companies to vet potential recruits and check if they had been involved in any industrial action.
The backlist, which is believed to go as far back as the 70s, has been described as a “national scandal” by Labour, which claims thousands of workers were denied employment.
Alarm about the practice prompted St Helens councillors to unanimously call for it to be outlawed last month.
Councillor Richard McCauley, a cabinet member in St Helens, had raised fears that residents of St Helens had been “disadvantaged” by blacklisting.
Now the GMB has confirmed nine St Helens workers and two from Whiston were on the list.
The union is now pushing for those workers who may have missed out on jobs to be given compensation.
Many of the 3,213 construction workers named do not know they were on the list that was seized from Consulting Association database in 2009.
According to the union, the list was used by 44 companies to vet new recruits, keeping out of employment trade union and health and safety activists.
Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: "People have been deprived of an honest living through these illegal tactics which has blighted their families’ lives.
“They have been the victims of injustice over many years by multi- national companies - now seeking to live off public sector contracts.
“Not a single company has yet been punished nor have any of them paid compensation.”
The ICO never contacted anyone on the list to let them know they were blacklisted.
Construction workers from St Helens who were trade union and health and safety activists - and believe they were denied work unreasonably - are asked to contact GMB.
Anyone who fears they were affected by the blacklist is asked to contact Phil Read at GMB on landline: 01603 742 877, mobile: 07840897997 or by email: email@example.com