Information Commissioner's Office plans to prosecute director of data gathering firm for breaching data protection act

The Information Commissioner's Office has this morning published excerpts from the list of 3,213 workers seized in a raid on the offices of the Consulting Association this week. It says that the list of names and comments has been used by 40 construction firms, including Balfour Beatty, Taylor Woodrow and Costain, to vet potential workers.

It is planning to prosecute Ian Kerr, the director of the Consulting Association, for breaching the data protection act.

Workers walking along street
Credit: Josean Prado

Comments about workers including the following:

“Caused problems on that site (lazy and a trouble stirrer).”

“Poor time keeper. Will cause trouble.”

“UCATT. Very bad news”

“Applied to [deleted] via agency for [deleted] project. Agency will say - 'job now filled' as their response to above.”

“Communist party.”

“ A litigious person. Took [deleted] to tribunal citing Data Protection Act and discrimination. Asked for £10,000 to settle outside. £2,000 was offered and he eventually settled for £3,000. His CV is sound, so he is employable, but if taken on, he can be difficult.”

Ex-shop steward. Definite problems. No go.”

“Do not touch!!”

“A member of the TGWU and working for [deleted] in Luton. Claimed to be a 'sleeper' and should be watched.”

“Across the water - membership 1982.”

“Irish ex-army. Bad egg.”

“Would not be reconsidered by [deleted] following problems at [deleted] during week of 16 October 2006. One of 17 scaffolders and asbestos removers involved in urging fellow workers to walk off site. The issue centred on H&S, immigrant labour and possibly an attempt to influence 2007 wages negotiations.”

“Orchestrated strike action of 18 workers at [deleted]. About 200 positions on site filled by agency, but of these 18 workers were let go in favour of Polish immigrant workers. Issue was one of “British jobs for British workers”. The above general foreman was the leader who sucked the others, who were all easily led.”