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Employment Rights Anti-blacklisters join nationwide rallies for justice

CAMPAIGNERS against blacklisting in the construction industry will mobilise across Britain today in a day of action to highlight the issue.

As well as protests up and down the country, construction members will take their campaign to Parliament for a meeting addressed by Labour frontbenchers including shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The union Unite, which organised the protests, has called for a full public inquiry into blacklisting, for blacklisting to become a criminal offence and blacklisting companies be barred from bidding for public-sector contracts.

The scandal saw more than 3,000 construction workers denied jobs because they were trade union members, or had raised health and safety issues.

Construction companies which were involved have been forced to pay millions of pounds in compensation through legal action brought by unions Unite and GMB.

Now Unite is attempting to bring to justice some of the company chiefs involved – Cullum McAlpine and David Cochrane of construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine, Danny O'Sullivan of Kier, and Stephen Quant of Skanska.

The union has launched fresh legal action in the High Court.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The disgusting practice of blacklisting has not disappeared. Blacklisting will not be stamped out until the government brings in effective laws.

“Unite is uncovering fresh cases of contemporary blacklisting which demonstrates why urgent action is needed to end blacklisting once and for all.

“It is simply outrageous that companies who have been caught blacklisting and have ruined the lives of construction workers, have escaped virtually scot free and continue to be rewarded with public-sector contracts.

“Unite will leave no stone unturned in our fight for justice for blacklisted workers and will use every avenue open to us; be it industrial, political or legal to win justice for our members.”

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