London Assembly motion follows Building’s exclusive on blacklisting past of former industrial relations manager on £15bn project

Boris Johnson

Source: Surrey News

Mayor Boris Johnson should provide evidence to show that no blacklisting has taken place on the £15bn Crossrail project, the London Assembly has said.

Following a meeting of the Assembly, members voted in favour of a motion which also urged the mayor to publicly reject the practice of blacklisting and emphasise the importance of allowing employees to raise health and safety fears in the workplace.

The motion was put forward by Labour member John Biggs following Building’s exclusive story in November which revealed that Crossrail’s then industrial relations manager Ron Barron was an established blacklister in a former role.

Union Unite has also claimed that 28 workers were unfairly removed from the Crossrail project last September over a dispute with shop steward Frank Morris. Morris claims to have raised serious health and safety concerns.

Biggs said: “The bad practice of employers in the construction industry using blacklisting databases needs to be brought to an end. We need clear evidence from the Mayor that Crossrail has not been involved in this practice, both now and in the future.

“Employees must have the right to bring up health and safety concerns without fear of damage to their livelihoods. The shameful and illegal practice of blacklisting must be in no way linked to Crossrail, especially as this £14.8 billion project is funded by taxpayer money. London must lead the way and be seen to be an exemplary employer.”

A spokesperson for Crossrail told Building in December that the organisation was not aware of blacklisting in connection with the project, and had seen no evidence of it. He added that the Consutling Association was shut down before the awarding of the first station and tunnelling contracts in December 2010.

“If evidence [of blacklisting] were to be presented we would take firm, decisive and immediate action. All our contractors are fully aware that blacklisting would result in an immediate breach of contract as well as being a criminal offence,” he said.