Blacklisting companies banned from council contracts
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities
Contractor found guilty of blacklisting trade unionist
Islington Council will no longer do business with blacklisting companies.
Firms who want council contracts must now show they do not practise blacklisting, while those that have blacklisted in the past must prove they have ceased and taken sufficient measures to remedy their past wrongs.
Any council contractor caught blacklisting in the future will have its contract terminated.
The process will be scrutinised by the council's procurement board, the corporate watchdog for major contracts.
Council leader Richard Watts is also set to write to the minister for local government to call for a public enquiry into blacklisting, and also urge other London councils to follow Islington's lead.
GMB, the union for construction workers has welcomed the council's move.
Maria Ludkin, GMB national officer for legal and corporate affairs, said: “GMB welcome this kind of robust governance from local authorities.
"It is the only effective guarantee that blacklisting will be stamped out, and workers who were blacklisted compensated, by companies seeking public sector contracts.”
Blacklisting is illegal and denies employment to individuals on the basis of information, accurate or not, which is held on a database.
It has been common in the construction industry, where firms kept lists, often out-of-date or inaccurate, of workers involved in union and political activities and prevented them from working.
Cllr Andy Hull, the council's executive member for finance and performance, said: "Blacklisting is an immoral practice that has unfairly caused huge suffering for many workers and their families. We’ve made it clear that we won’t work with firms who Blacklist now, nor with any firms who have Blacklisted in the past and can’t prove they have stopped and made amends.
"We are making a stand against an unfair employment practice that has ruined too many lives and we are challenging the government to hold a public enquiry into this malpractice, which has been widespread.
"It's another way we are making Islington fairer."
According to GMB, the companies to be shut out of Islington contracts until they compensate those they blacklisted are: AMEC plc, Amey Construction, Balfour Beatty plc, Bam Construction, Bam Nuttall, Al Rushaid Investment Co, Costain Group plc, Laing O'Rourke, Carillion plc, Diamond Construction & Engineering Recruitment Ltd, EMCOR Group, Hardwicke Investments Ltd, Taylor Wimpey plc, Kier Group plc, Renew Holdings plc, The Miller Group, Morgan Sindall Group plc, Galliford Try plc, NG Bailey Group Ltd, Shepherd Building Group Ltd, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska AB, Financiere SPIE, Samsung Construction and Trading, Sunley Holdings Plc, Vinci plc.