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Labour Conference: Construction union reps barred from Laing O'Rourke hospital site

Former Consulting Association blacklist client denies access to workers on publicly funded Liverpudlian project, says construction union Ucatt

Construction workers called out building giant Laing O’Rourke at Labour Party conference yesterday, accusing the firm of barring union reps from a publicly funded project.

Laing, a contractor on the taxpayer-funded Alder Hey hospital site in Liverpool, is one of 40 firms caught up in the Consulting Association blacklisting scandal.

The CA’s blacklist was shut down by a government raid in 2009 and Laing directors have described the practice as “completely unacceptable.”

But construction union Ucatt warned that the disgraced firm was up to its old tricks, denying officials access to the site’s workers.

Ucatt delegate Jamie Bramwell told conference: “They immediately banned Ucatt from the project — absolutely scandalous in 21st century Britain.

“Doubly scandalous in an industry where 40 workers a year die on site, when union sites are proven to be safer sites.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating a spate of accidents at the Alder Hey site.

Conference heard from shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna yesterday, who said a future Labour government would set up an inquiry into the “disgraceful blacklisting” of construction workers.

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