You can read 19 more articles this month
TALKS to agree compensation for blacklisted construction workers are close to collapse.
General union GMB says the settlement proposed by eight firms at the heart of the scandal is “grossly inadequate” considering the blight on the lives of those victimised by the practice.
Organised blacklisting was exposed in 2009 following a raid by government officials on the offices of the Consulting Association which uncovered that it had given firms information on 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists.
In October 2013, eight blacklisting companies — Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC — set up the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to compensate blacklist victims. Negotiations with construction unions began.
The companies plan to provide £15 million to £20m says GMB.
A share-out between all victims would mean compensation of £16,000 to £20,000 for what for some was a working lifetime of struggle to find jobs and feed families.
The eight companies have a collective turnover of more than £34 billion and pre-tax profits of £1.04bn, says GMB.
Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “The GMB central executive council has been updated on progress in the talks which are now on the brink of breaking down.
“GMB consider that the main stumbling block is the amount of compensation being offered to the victims of blacklisting in whatever form that took.
“The total current cash envelope for fast-track compensation we estimate is between £15m and £20m. That is less than £3m per company.
“This is grossly inadequate to deal with the devastating damage inflicted on people in their working lives and the colossal invasion of their privacy.
“This compensation offer is not an act of contrition, it is a PR stunt. My advice is that the companies should get serious and make proper restitution and close the book on this shameful chapter.
“The talks should not break down over the size of the cash envelope. The employers have to own up, clean up and pay up.”
Worst-hit centres in the blacklisting scandal were the City of London with 454 victims, Manchester (183), Merseyside (173) and Glasgow (140).
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.