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Islington excludes blacklisting firms

Islington Council has joined Tower Hamlets in the fight to stamp out blacklisting

Islington Council has joined Tower Hamlets in the fight to stamp out blacklisting by introducing reforms preventing contractors carrying out the illegal practice.

The London borough council announced yesterday that firms which want council contracts must show they do not use blacklists, while those that have done so in the past must prove they have stopped.

Any contractor caught using a blacklist in the future would have their contracts terminated.

Trade unions have continued to campaign for justice for workers whose names were discovered on a blacklist five years ago, drawn up on behalf of a number of construction firms.

Thousands were denied an income because of the list, often for merely raising health and safety issues on building sites.

Labour-controlled Islington Council leader Richard Watts is to write to the government calling for a public inquiry into blacklisting and he will urge other councils to follow Islington's lead.

The council's Executive Member for Finance and Performance Andy Hull said: "Blacklisting is an immoral practice that has unfairly caused huge suffering for many workers and their families.

"We are making a stand against an unfair employment practice that has ruined too many lives and we are challenging the government to hold a public inquiry into this malpractice, which has been widespread."

General union GMB legal officer Maria Ludkin said: "It is the only effective guarantee that blacklisting will be stamped out and workers who were blacklisted compensated by companies seeking public-sector contracts."

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