Dave Smith’s case against Carillion is the first in which a blacklisting victim has been allowed to examine files without restriction
A leading campaigner against blacklisting in the construction industry has secured an admission in court that a company he worked for had blacklisted him for his trade union activities and for his work as a health and safety rep.
At an on-going Employment Tribunal hearing in central London, former construction engineer Dave Smith (above, speaking at a recent sparks protest in London) claims Carillion and two subsidiaries used a blacklist compiled by the Consulting Association to deny him employment because of his union activity.
He is the first blacklisting victim to be permitted to view files held by the Consulting Association without restrictions.
Carillion has signed an agreed statement of facts at the Tribunal in which Carillion admits to blacklisting Dave Smith, providing information on him to the Consulting Association and that the blacklisting caused him a detriment.
The Tribunal has rejected an attempt by the respondents to strike out his claim on the basis that he was not a direct employee.
Dave Smith says the merits of his case depend on his being defined as a “worker” under human rights legislation which prohibits the victimisation of an individual on the grounds of trade union membership or union activity.
He says the blacklist – which was exposed in 2009 following an investigation by the Information Commissioner – breached is right to privacy and right to association. The IO inquiry found that the Consulting Association held a blacklist for decades of more than 3,000 construction workers. It was used by more than 40 construction sector companies.
The Consulting Association was subsequently prosecuted under data protection laws. It was fined just £5,000 – the maximum which the magistrates court was allowed to impose.
Supporters say a victory in Dave’s case could help establish employment rights for around 1.6 million agency workers in the UK
The Tribunal is expected to make a ruling on Friday.
Unite is asking workers who have been suffered financially from being blacklisted to contact them.
The union is taking legal advice on the prospects of pursuing claims for breaches of the Data Protection Act.
If your name was on the Consulting Association Blacklist and you suffered financial loss as a result please get in touch with the union’s Legal Department on 020 7611 2500
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