Portsmouth City Councillors supports union’s fight for inquiry into blacklisting

Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

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PORTSMOUTH City Council has supported a motion condemning a practice of blacklisting construction workers who belong to trade unions.

The motion was brought by Cllr Ken Ferrett, and backs a campaign led by the Unite union to stop public bodies such as councils awarding contracts to firms which have used the blacklist.

The list was compiled by the Consulting Association, which had been set up by a number of construction companies, and has the names of 3,213 construction workers believed to be union members.

Cllr Ferrett, of Nelson ward, said: ‘What has happened to workers as a result of them being placed on the Consulting Association blacklist is an affront to a free society.

‘They have suffered years of discrimination in the construction industry for being prepared to support their colleagues and for speaking out against breaches of health and safety regulations.’

And he added: ‘I was delighted that the council had come together to show their support for this campaign and send a clear message that blacklisting has no place in a free society.’

The Unite union said the list was discovered in 2009 during a raid by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘This is a scandal on the scale of phone hacking, except it is the lives of thousands of ordinary construction workers which have been ruined. There should be a full and proper inquiry.’