Unite secures £10m payout over 'blacklisting'


More than 30 construction firms have agreed to pay out a further £10m in compensation over allegations of blacklisting after reaching a deal with union Unite.

The union said 256 workers will receive payouts ranging from £25,000 to £200,000.


The settlement follows a five-year battle against major employers like Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd and Balfour Beatty Engineering Services as well as more than 30 other firms.

It followed the exposure of the activities of the Consulting Association, which was raided by the Information Commissioner in 2009. Hundreds of workers were blacklisted for trade union and health and safety activities.

Last month, the GMB and Ucatt unions and a law firm reached a separate settlement with companies involved in the scandal.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: 'The massive scale of the agreed damages - more than £10m - shows the gravity of the misdeeds of these major construction companies which created and used the Consulting Group as a vehicle to enable them to blacklist trade unionists on behalf of more than 30 construction companies.

‘The sums to be paid out go a considerable way to acknowledge the hurt, suffering and loss of income our members and their families have been through over many years. Under the agreement they can once more apply for jobs in the construction industry without fear of discrimination.

He added: 'This settlement is a clear statement on behalf of the trade union movement that never again can such nefarious activities be allowed to happen against decent working people trying to earn an honest living in a tough industry.'

The Unite case centred on a number of legal issues, including defamation, breaches of the 1988 Data Protection Act, conspiracy and misuse of private information.

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