Last month GMB wrote to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) asking for proactive action to inform 3,019 builders that they are on a "blacklist" that the office has been in possession of since 2009 and to take action against the 44 companies that blacklisted them.
Both Liberty and GMB are critical of the ICO for refusing to take effective action for the past three years. The Blacklist Support Group deserves our thanks for keeping up the pressure for action.
GMB's motion to the 2012 TUC Congress reiterates the calls for the trade union movement to take this on from here.
The ICO attitude - to wait for builders to approach it - is completely unreasonable and unrealistic.
It should apply the same standards as it used in the phone-hacking scandal and contact those on the list.
That only 194 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist know three years later that they are on it is an indictment of the ICO.
Its excuses for not proactively contacting them are so weak as to be a joke. And not a single company has been punished yet either.
The blacklist first came to light when, in 2009, the ICO seized a database of 3,213 construction workers which was used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep trade union and health and safety activists out of employment.
A GMB report published in June 2012 on blacklisting by Carillion showed that this was not an isolated or rare practice.
The report estimated that in one quarter alone Carillion checked 2,776 names with the so-called Consulting Association, which held the lists, and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names.
The ICO confirmed that 224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion.
These names were released at an employment tribunal earlier this year when Carillion was accused of blacklisting a construction worker in London.
The GMB report entitled Blacklisting - Illegal Corporate Bullying Endemic, Systemic and Deep-Rooted in Carillion and Other Companies can be accessed at www.gmb.org.uk.
Arising from this report GMB is preparing separate legal action against Carillion for blacklisting.
Following the GMB letter to the ICO we have now been invited to meet its representatives to see if we can work out a way to establish the names of GMB members on the list.
Even if we are able to identify GMB victims, both GMB and Liberty expect the Information Commissioner to use his wide-ranging powers to notify the 3,019 people who are on the database and take action against these companies.
If he fails to act legal action is likely. The ICO is the cork in the blacklisting bottle that needs to be popped.
GMB intends to pull back the curtain of secrecy to reveal the way that employers like Carillion and others illegally used their power and money to blacklist citizens and to deny them their rights to employment.
This is the same Carillion that has found out - after 21 days of strike action by GMB members at the Swindon PFI hospital - that these staff were victims of corruption and shakedowns which were covered up for years.
For far too long vested interests have sought to ignore these discriminatory activities of Carillion and others.
GMB is going to campaign to expose these activities. GMB will call on politicians to bring social justice to the victims of blacklisting by these companies.
Employers like Carillion who blacklisted workers have public-sector contracts valued at more than £15 billion.
They need to be called to account by MPs and local councillors. They should get no more public contracts until they apologise and compensate those they blacklisted.
The whole movement must unite around this position all across the country.
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