CONSTRUCTION workers in Scotland launched a series of protests yesterday against developer Laing O’Rourke over its involvement in blacklisting.
The company is known in the construction industry for its aggressive opposition to trade unions.
Union Ucatt and its members are targeting a publicly funded £212 million hospital construction project in Dumfries in Scotland involving Laing O’Rourke. More protests are planned, with the union saying: “This major new NHS Scotland hospital project, which is totally funded by the public purse, is being dragged into the mire of reactionary, anti-worker politics by a constructor infamous for these practices.
“Laing O’Rourke was one of the main constructors instrumental in ruining the lives of thousands of British construction workers by blacklisting them from the industry over decades.”
The blacklisting scandal was exposed in 2009 when government officials raided the premises of the Consulting Association, which compiled a list for construction firms of workers known to be trade union activists and those who had raised health and safety issues.
A list of 3,000 blacklisted construction workers was discovered. Many of them were unaware that they had been blacklisted.
Trade unions and anti-blacklisting campaigners are pursuing legal action against the companies involved.
Ucatt Scotland regional secretary Steve Dillon said: “This contractor, Laing O’Rourke, should never have got the contract in the first place.
“This is an aggressive, anti-worker, union-busting contractor that has no right to benefit from the public purse.
“We will be directly challenging Laing O’Rourke every time they undertake these practices in Scotland.”