Balfour Beatty 'had to use construction industry black lists'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Legal
Construction CraneImage: Construction Crane via Shutterstock
The chief executive of building firm Balfour Beatty has apologised but said the company had no choice but to use construction industry blacklists.
Speaking before the Scottish Affairs select committee, CEO Mike Peasland admitted running reference checks with the now closed Consulting Association on around 15,000 workers between 2004-08.
But he said the company did so because it feared “unofficial action by workers and things like harassment and bullying on sites".
“We believe that at the time we were suffering huge amounts of disruption in our business from unlawful acts on our sites and that would have led to major issues in terms of disruption for our customers, for our staff and for our own workforce. We felt that this was a way to prevent unlawful acts on our sites from happening,” said Mr Peasland.
The select committee is investigating the extent of blacklisting in the sector.
Mr Peasland claimed that acts of violence had been experienced on sites.
However, the CEO said that the company regretted using the Consulting Association and that the reference checks shouldn't have been done.
He apologised to those affected by the policy.
During a three-hour session Mr Peasland told MPs that checks had been put in place to ensure that the firm would not use blacklists again.