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Blacklisting Unite launches new legal action for blacklist justice

FRESH legal action has been launched against construction bosses who blacklisted thousands of workers because they were trade union activists or raised health and safety concerns.

Unite said it wanted to expose the “controlling minds” behind the blacklisting scandal and see them brought to justice.

The union is taking legal action in the High Court on behalf of 70 blacklisted construction workers.

It announced the launch of the case ahead of a lobby of Parliament on Wednesday as part of a union campaign for a public inquiry into blacklisting.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Unite is determined to ensure that the people directly responsible for blacklisting workers and ruining their lives are brought to justice and have to answer for their actions.

“Since 2009, the individuals who were the controlling minds behind the systematic blacklisting of workers have sought to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

"The workers who had their lives ruined deserve to see the leading blacklisters in court.”

For decades, the construction industry was plagued by blacklisting, first organised through the Economic League, then its successor the Consulting Association, both of which gathered and stored information on trade union and political activists but also workers who merely drew attention to health and safety problems.

The association, which kept a blacklist of over 3,000 construction workers, was paid by companies to provide them with information on job applicants.

If the applicant was on the blacklist, he or she would be refused employment.

The Consulting Association was closed down in 2009 after a raid by government officials.

Unite and the GMB union have already taken legal action on behalf of blacklisted workers, winning millions of pounds in compensation for the victims.

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