Unite the Union has launched a groundbreaking contemporary blacklisting case concerning London’s flagship Crossrail construction project.
The union is working with Thompsons Solicitors in support of Daniel Collins, who claims to have been blacklisted from working on the Crossrail project after learning that Crossrail and several contractors and agencies involved with that project had conspired to deny him work.
Daniel Collins says that he witnessed some serious safety issue while he was working on the Bond Street Crossrail station project. After following the site procedures and reporting his concerns he was asked to leave the site “due to a reduction in work”, despite being initially assured that there was three years’ worth of work on the project.
Collins says that all attempts he made to gain new employment on the project were rejected, despite him being qualified for the role. This led Mr Collins to launch subject access requests that he alleges show evidence that he had been blacklisted from working on the project by Crossrail, Costain, Skanska, NG Bailey and T Clarke, as well as employment agencies OnSite and Beaver Management Services Ltd.
Unite have previously worked on blacklisting cases in the construction industry, and say that it is “sickening” that a worker who raised legitimate concerns about the safety of workers has been forced out of the industry.
Unite has subsequently instructed Thompsons to pursue the case, who have issued all of the companies and agencies concerned with a letter before claim as per the pre-action protocol procedures. The companies involved are required to now respond to the case and have been instructed to not destroy any documents or electronic files that potentially relate to the case.
Due to his alleged blacklisting, Mr Collins has been forced to leave the construction industry and is now employed in a different sector.
Speaking about Mr Collins’ case, Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Unite is launching this landmark contemporary blacklisting case on behalf of our member who we say was blacklisted out of the industry.
“Unite has always believed that blacklisting has continued in construction but the challenge has been to unearth this dirty and deceitful practice.
“It is truly sickening that a worker who has raised legitimate safety concerns in order to protect their fellow workers, has been forced out of the industry, due to their public-spirited actions.
“Sadly Unite believes that this is not an isolated case and that other workers have also suffered from blacklisting. Those responsible must be exposed.”
Rachel Halliday of Thompsons Solicitors said: “We have sent letters before claim to Crossrail, and six contractors working on the Crossrail project, and we await their responses.
“We know from the construction blacklisting cases we ran for Unite that blacklisting has blighted the lives of too many trade union activists.
“Working with the union we are seeking compensation for those affected but also effective action by the companies to end blacklisting as a practice.”