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Monday 15th
posted by Malcolm Burns in Britain

Unions and Blacklisting Support Group demand Dundee Council withdraw preferred bidder status from BAM Construction

FURIOUS anti-blacklisting campaigners in Scotland called on Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to reverse a SNP-led Dundee Council decision naming blacklister BAM Construction as preferred bidder for the city’s £45 million Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum development.

Construction unions GMB and Ucatt along with the Blacklist Support Group want BAM and other firms to be excluded from tendering for any further Scottish public-sector contracts until they compensate the 582 workers in Scotland that they blacklisted.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden called on Nicola Sturgeon, as minister responsible for construction procurement policy, to intervene.

“This shameful decision by a shoddy alliance between nationalists and Tories in Dundee must be reversed,” he said. 

“BAM claims it is years since it blacklisted anyone and when it did it did not blacklist anyone from Scotland. 

“This is nonsense. 

“We know they placed at least 34 names on the blacklist. 

“These workers continued to be blacklisted until the blacklist was shut down in 2009.”

Dundee Trades Union Council secretary Mike Arnott has led the local campaign against BAM’s bid for the prestigious V&A contract.

He told the Morning Star: “Last Monday we saw a decision pushed through to meet a timescale, which the council and its officers claim can’t be held up to allow scrutiny of BAM Construction’s claims of innocence. 

“There were blacklisted Dundee electricians watching this abject surrender from the public gallery. 

“And this from a council who passed a policy against blacklisting 13 months ago.” 

Scottish government guidelines on blacklisting for public-sector contracts state that “firms which have engaged in blacklisting have committed an act of grave professional misconduct and should be excluded from public procurement, unless they can demonstrate appropriate remedial action.”

The GMB argues that as “neither BAM nor Carillion and other firms that blacklisted workers have yet paid any compensation… under these guidelines they should be excluded from public procurement until they do.”

  • Members of GMB and Ucatt will join the Blacklist Support Group in a protest at Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency office tomorrow where GMB general secretary Paul Kenny will hand in a letter demanding the reversal of the decision to name BAM as preferred bidder.