Unite cites two recent revelations by Building in describing issue as ‘national scandal’


Britain’s biggest union has compared blacklisting to the issue of phone-hacking and has called for a ‘Leveson-style’ inquiry to investigate it.

The news comes as Sir Robert McAlpine director Cullum McAlpine is set to appear before the Scottish Affairs Committee today as it continues its investigation into blacklisting.

The Unite union said two major revelations in recent weeks - both uncovered by Building - had shown that the issue is a “national scandal”.

Building revealed last week the UK’s largest contractor, Balfour Beatty, had admitted carrying out blacklist checks on individuals seeking to work on the London 2012 Olympics.

Back in November, an investigation by Building also uncovered the fact that established blacklister Ron Barron was employed as Crossrail’s industrial relations manager.

The Labour Party yesterday confirmed it will put forward a Commons motion on Wednesday calling on the government to mount a full investigation into construction industry blacklisting.

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.

“Construction companies have been allowed to get away with a conspiracy to spy on thousands of ordinary construction workers and destroy their careers. 

“Lives have been ruined and families have been torn apart just because workers had raised safety concerns in Britain’s most dangerous industry or just because they exercised their human rights to belong to a trade union.”

A spokesman for Unite added that the union believes that Crossrail has failed to properly examine evidence of blacklisting on the project and has called on Transport for London to investigate.

This follows a call to mayor Boris Johnson by the London Assembly to provide evidence that the £15bn project is untainted by blacklisting.