Workers set to tell government to ban firms that used the blacklist from public projects
Blacklisted construction workers will be asked to help the government to bring in legislation to ban the practice.
Peter Mandelson, the business secretary, said on Monday that the government planned to introduce regulations prohibiting the banning of workers for union membership activities.
It has emerged that victims of a blacklist maintained by Ian Kerr, a private detective, will be asked to give evidence to officials in the business and enterprise department. It is understood that workers may also be given an opportunity to speak with the prime minister.
Colin Trousdale, a worker who appeared on the list, said MPs told workers last Wednesday that they would be invited to discuss the legislation “within weeks”.
Why do we need another consultation? It beggars belief
Jim Sheridan MP
Construction worker Tony Jones, who has a 20-page file, said: “They want input from the blacklisted workers.” He added that the men would try to ensure there were “no loopholes for employers to wriggle out of”.
Jones added: “We’re going to demand that Gordon Brown gets these firms that used the blacklist off all public projects, including the Olympics.”
The government said it would launch a short consultation in the early summer to revise draft regulations. Jim Sheridan MP, who has campaigned against blacklists, was critical of this announcement. He said: “We feared this would happen. Why do we need another consultation? It beggars belief.”
Edward Goodwyn, partner at lawyer Pinsent Masons, said it was noteworth that the legislation was solely focused on trade union membership. He said: “There is no additional protection for holding information about a person’s race or health and safety position.”