Ucatt has stopped this year’s round of pay talks in order to force through wage agreements that outlaw the blacklisting of construction workers

In a letter seen by Building, Alan Ritchie, the union’s general secretary, told the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) that the union would suspend talks with the council over a pay deal while it sought legal advice on whether clauses banning blacklisting on CIJC sites could be included in the agreement.

Ritchie said Ucatt had taken this step because it was disappointed by the fact that some firms had not condemned the practice of blacklisting. More than 40 major contractors have used the list of information about workers to vet current and potential staff.

He said: “As a consequence of these recent revelations and the high level of feeling among our members, it has been agreed that the planned pay negotiations should not proceed at present.”  

A Ucatt spokesperson added: “We take it incredibly seriously that some of our members have been discriminated against for years for being trade unionists or having raised safety issues.”

Following the revelations, it has been agreed that negotiations shouldn’t proceed

Alan Ritchie, UCATT

The development follows news, reported by Building last week, that negotiations over the BATJIC agreement, the industry’s other major pay deal, had stalled.

Apart from pay, the triennial CIJC deal covers travel expenses, minimum pay levels and holidays for more than 250,000 workers.

Manus Adamson, executive chairman of the Construction Confederation, which represents employers on the CIJC, said the issue of blacklisting was not relevant. He said: “These claims are totally outside the pay negotiations.”

Earlier this month, union Unite said it intended to take legal action on behalf of workers on the blacklist.