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Blacklisting: GMB union warns National Federation of Builders against 'disclosure and barring checks'

A NETWORK of construction firms came under fire yesterday after it advertised “employee screening” to clients — reportedly code for blacklisting.

In a press release welcoming a partnership with “strategic outsourcing company” Mitie, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) said it offered members “basic and advance disclosure and barring checks.”

“More and more organisations are using employee screening services to ensure an employee and their history really is who and what they claim to be,” the NFB boasted.

The offer came after government inspectors seized a secret blacklisting database in 2009, which had been maintained by clandestine bosses’ networks.

And in the past few weeks, the GMB union’s Crocodile Tears tour has taken campaigners to numerous British cities to shame bosses named as blacklisters on the database.

“On face value this scheme has the potential to lead to the blacklisting of construction workers,” said Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy.

“The scheme should be postponed until workers are fully reassured that black-
listing will not and cannot occur.”

But NFB chief executive Richard Beresford strongly denied the allegation.

“It’s certainly not from our point of view,” he said. “We’ve had it in place since 2007. It’s to look for evidence of criminality. It’s nothing to do with barring at all and certainly nothing to do with blacklisting.”

The NFB is a member of the Construction Industry Joint Council, whose rules preclude “any form of blacklisting of any worker.”

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