15 October 2013

Apologising: Bill Clinton was famously good at it, the Daily Mail less so and now some of the construction industry's biggest names have learned how to say sorry, in their case for involvement in blacklisting hundreds of workers.

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI plc have all apologised for their involvement with the blacklist and the impact that the infamous Consulting Association database may have had on individual construction workers.

They have also agreed to establish the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme with the intention of making it as simple as possible for any worker with a legitimate claim to access compensation.

However, the GMB union, which has been active in pursuing the companies concerned, has criticised Sellafield Contractor AMEC for not joining the group despite the union claiming to have proof that a number of parts of the AMEC business were involved in illegal blacklisting.

"Macfarlanes LLP, acting for Sir Robert McAlpine, in preparing a defence against claims for damages for blacklisting in the High Court said that the AMEC group of companies supplied 112 names to the blacklist database and refused employment to 60 workers," the GMB said.

More than 3200 names were in the files seized from the Consulting Association, although only 15% have so far had their listing confirmed. The blacklist contained names of potential employees who were members of unions or who had previously raised health and safety concerns on sites.

The GMB has access to information on the blacklist and is seeking help from local organisations and media across the UK to assist in identifying and locating all those eligible for compensation.