GMB union activists target managers involved in blacklisting
Construction industry managers involved in the historic blacklisting of employees are being individually targeted by a union’s controversial “naming and shaming” campaign.
Members of the GMB trade union are to demonstrate outside Balfour Beatty Engineering Services in Linwood Glasgow tomorrow (Wednesday, 29 October) to “shame” an HR director for his part in allegedly blacklisting 489 construction workers when employed by Balfour Kilpatrick.
The protest marks the fifth date in a national Crocodile Tears protest tour to shame a total of 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who the GMB demand apologise for their actions.
Blacklisting was a practice run by a consultancy company on behalf of the construction industry to ensure shop stewards and those regarded as union militants were known.
Over 44 companies used the blacklist to discredit over 3,213 workers and to prevent them moving into other jobs in the industry.
Every single one of these secret blacklisters will have their role dissected in public
The list was discovered in March 2009 when the Information Commissioner’s Office in England raided the offices of The Consulting Association (TCA) – the company financed by the industry to operate and administer the list.
According to the GMB, the HR director joined Balfour Kilpatrick in 1998 and was personally involved in the blacklisting of 489 workers.
Harry Donaldson, secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “These so-called HR professionals who ran the blacklists for the construction companies knew exactly what they were doing and they need to either apologise, come clean and say what they did, or get used to accounting in public for the damage they did to those they blacklisted and their families, especially with the public inquiry Labour has pledged after the next election.
And he warned: “Just as the construction companies who paid their wages are being called to account in parliament, the courts and the media, every single one of these secret blacklisters will have their role dissected in public.”
However a spokeswoman for Balfour Beatty called the demonstrations "irresponsible".
She added: "Targeting individuals is not the right approach. Balfour Beatty has been open about its involvement and has subsequently contributed towards the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme.
"The tactic of tageting individuals is totally irresponsible."
Demonstrators also plan to target an HR manager in Aberdeen.