COMMONS

Committee calls for Government Inquiry into Blacklisting on Crossrail

25 July 2013

Evidence given to Scottish Affairs Committee shows blacklisting is a current practice in flagship Crossrail construction project

The Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable MP to ask that Government launch a full investigation into blacklisting on Crossrail. The Committee has heard compelling evidence that the practice is current and ongoing in this flagship public sector construction project

The Committee had been investigating historic allegations of blacklisting in the construction industry, questions about compensating the people affected and holding the companies involved to account,  but has now heard clear evidence that the practice is still continuing.

Writing to Vince Cable MP, Ian Davidson MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"The Scottish Affairs Committee have been investigating blacklisting, particularly in the construction industry, and continue to do so.

During the Parliamentary debate on this subject on the 23 January you indicated that you would be willing to look at any evidence that indicated this practice was still continuing.

The Committee has now received written evidence and held a formal Committee hearing on the 2 July with Gail Cartmail of Unite the Union, who has given us what we believe to be clear proof that blacklisting for trade union and health and safety activities has been going on within the contract for the Crossrail project run by BFK (BAM, Ferrovial and Kier).

The Committee is unanimous in believing that this evidence should be passed to yourselves to be pursued further even while other parts of our enquiry are continuing.

In Jo Swinson’s letter to Jim Sheridan MP on the 2 July 2013 she said “where there is evidence that blacklisting is currently being used in any sector of the economy, the appropriate authorities will be asked to carry out a full and thorough investigation.

We would hope that such a full and thorough investigation will now be launched by yourself into Unite’s allegations and evidence, which relate to activities taking place on a flagship public procurement project.

We are heartened by the government’s commitment to taking these issues seriously and look forward to hearing from you how these matters are being progressed. 

He added:

"We intend to continue our wider investigations into blacklisting and will be calling further witnesses but believe that the Government should now investigate, as promised, the clear and unequivocal evidence that has been received about blacklisting on the Crossrail Project. 

I would expect that those responsible for public sector contracts throughout the United Kingdom would want to take account of the evidence we have received before compiling future tender lists or awarding contracts."

Further information

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