Blacklisting scandal is back on the agenda, and 1000s could finally see justice

Blacklist Support Group protest at Laing O'Rourke City of London Cheesgrater site on National Day of Action against Blacklisting 20-11-13 They briefly blocked Leadenhall street.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced it has re-opened its files on the blacklisting of workers. While this news is to be welcomed, questions remain over how far the ICO will extend its review – and how many of those who had their livelihoods destroyed by blacklisting might be compensated for it. Let’s recap…

The Consulting Association specialised in blacklisting – whereby people were denied work because of their politics or union activism. Companies subscribed to its list, in order to vet workers when they applied for jobs. The ICO raided the Consulting Association in 2009, but only a third of the companies subscribing to it were subsequently issued with disclosure (enforcement) orders. It is also understood that thousands of files held by the Consulting Association went missing (see below).

And there is also a much bigger cache – compiled by an organisation that spent 70 years blacklisting not just construction workers but workers of all trades.

This article examines historical cases of widespread blacklisting that need investigating. A follow-up article on the work of vetting agencies today will be published in due course.

For more on this, click here.

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