Unions are calling for SNP ministers at Scottish Parliament (pictured) to launch independent inquiry into blacklisting

Tim Lezard

Scottish Parliament CannongateConstruction workers and anti-blacklisting campaigners are expected to take part in a rally in Dundee this morning to demand that blacklisting companies be banned from tendering for future public contracts.

Unite, GMB and UCATT are calling for SNP ministers at the Scottish Parliament (pictured) to launch an independent inquiry into blacklisting across Scotland.

Dundee has been named during an inquiry by MPs into blacklisting as one of the centres of the practice, dating back to the 1980s.

Today’s rally comes after Scottish government ministers admitted that firms involved in building the £1.6bn Forth Replacement Crossing had used the anti-union services of the Consulting Association, which unlawfully held a blacklist of health and safety reps, environmental campaigners and union activists for more than 15 years till it was closed down in 2009.

Campaigners say the practice has ruined the lives of thousands of workers across the country, with trade union members finding themselves blacklisted for raising concerns over industry standards such as health and safety.

Unite regional industrial officer Rab Sherry, who was himself blacklisted, said, “We’re only beginning to scratch the surface of what is nothing short of a national scandal and [the] rally represents a step-up of activity in our pursuit for justice and legislative change.

“It’s not just a matter for Westminster to address; the Scottish Government must start tightening its procurement policies to prevent known blacklisting companies from tendering and profiteering from future public contracts.

“They can also set-up an independent inquiry – as Neil Findlay MSP has called for – into the extent of the blacklisting scandal in addition to publishing the information we know it already holds on the issue.  Nothing less will suffice.

“Unite is laying down the gauntlet to the Scottish Government on blacklisting: Which side are you on?

“If the political will is there they can work with this campaign to tackle the scourge of blacklisting and help bring to an end this insidious practice.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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