256 former construction workers set to benefit from £10 million personal injury claim windfall
A figure of £10 million is being estimated in relation to the settlement amount purported to be divided between (and soon to be coming the way of) some 256 workers, after a compensation case brought against a number of leading construction companies proved successful.
Regarded as the largest ‘blacklisting’ scandal ever witnessed in the history of the UK construction sector, the potential pay-outs to personal injury claimants affected by the (now proven to be) unlawful decisions made by the likes of Sir Robert McAlpine and Balfour Beatty – amongst a reputed 30-plus other companies – are believed to range from between £25k up to £200k per individual, as critical factors such as defamation of character and lost income are taken into consideration by the awarding parties.
Represented by Unite the Union – in collaboration with various personal injury solicitors acting on the behalf of individual clients – the claimants have waited 5-years to learn of their fate, as the compendium of evidence against those firms accused of blacklisting employees was systematically compiled.
Described as nothing short of a ‘conspiracy’ by observers, literally hundreds of tradespeople previously employed within the construction industry lost their jobs, and subsequently had their lifestyles seriously compromised, as a result of undertaking legitimate trade union activities at the time; including the acknowledging of health and safety practices and protocols in situ.
Speaking after the ruling was made in favour of those wronged workers now in line to receive personal injury claims totalling just over £10 million, Unite’s General Secretary, Len McCluskey told various news sources; “The massive scale of the agreed damages – more than £10 million – shows the gravity of the misdeeds of these major construction companies who created and used the Consulting Group as a vehicle to enable them to blacklist trade unionists on behalf of more than 30 construction companies.”
Continuing to explain why justice prevailed in his opinion, McCluskey went on to add; “The sums to be paid out go a considerable way to acknowledge the hurt, suffering and loss of income our members and their families have been through over many years. Under the agreement they can once more apply for jobs in the construction industry without fear of discrimination.”
The man at the top of Britain’s biggest union, concluded; “The message is clear that there can never be any hiding place for bosses in the construction and any other industry thinking of reverting to shameful blacklisting practices against committed trade unionists.”
Aside from making these construction companies face up to and admit their collective guilt, offering formal apologies and of course, ensuring that wronged professional tradespeople receive financial compensation for years of suffering due to having found themselves blacklisted in an already notoriously difficult industry to forge a career in, Unite believe this litigation will also pave the way for blacklisting to be consigned to history once and for all.
Having said that the fight for justice doesn’t necessarily end there, as Unite are calling on a clearer defined legislative definition of the term ‘blacklisting’ in this specific context, as the union’s hierarchy cite that the secret vetting process carried out by the much criticised Consulting Association at the time of this mass instance of blacklisting is reviewed and perpetuators hauled over the coals for their actions; going as far as to suggest that those concerned should be a subject of an additional public inquiry.