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Friday 18th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

A NOTORIOUS developer at the heart of Britain’s blacklisting scandal has been slammed in the Scottish Parliament for still refusing trade unions access to building sites.

Construction giant Laing O’Rourke gave funds to the now defunct Consulting Association, which compiled lists of union activists and workers who raised health and safety issues.

A list of more than 3,000 blacklisted construction workers was recovered when the association’s offices were raided by government officials in 2009.

The firms are being pursued for compensation to victims, many of whom were not aware they had been blacklisted.

But the guilty firms still continue to be awarded public contracts, and to prevent unionisation of their sites.

Laing O’Rourke was awarded a £212 million contract to build the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, and it has repeatedly obstructed access to the site by union representatives.

The prison site has been targeted for protests by construction union Ucatt, and the issue has now been raised in the Scottish Parliament.

A motion from Labour MSP for South Scotland Colin Smyth criticises Laing O’Rourke for its refusal to provide trade union access to the site, and the firm’s similar practice on other public-sector contracts.

Ucatt Scotland’s regional secretary Steve Dillon said: “We welcome Mr Smyth’s motion on this really important issue and urge all MSPs to sign it, in order to demonstrate that they on the side of Scottish workers and support the right of trade unions to organise and represent workers.”

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