UK & World News
Eco-Activists 'On Construction Blacklist'
The names of five female environmental activists have reportedly been discovered on a secret employment blacklist.
The GMB union claims it was contacted by the women who say they discovered their names on the list originally thought to have only contained details of construction workers.
The list was revealed after a raid by the Information Commissioner in 2009 on the offices of The Consulting Association, a secretive organisation which offered employee background checks to construction companies.
Unions claim that prospective employees discovered to be active trade-union activists or who had raised health and safety issues with previous companies, were identified as 'troublemakers' and often denied employment.
The women are understood to be from Edinburgh, Leeds, Cornwall, Essex and the North East, and said they were unsure why their names were on the list.
The GMB has called on a Commons Select Committee conducting an inquiry into the blacklist - which contains more than 3,200 names - to find out why the women's names were included.
The union also claims another 240 women are on the list, with no information on whether they were linked to the construction industry.
Maria Ludkin, the GMB's legal officer, said the GMB had never received a satisfactory explanation from construction firms regarding what they discussed with the Consulting Association.
"Now we find environmental campaigners on the blacklist we are asking the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to investigate how these names got on the list," she said.
Last month the GMB published a regional map showing where people on the list lived in an attempt to identify the 3,200 names it contains.
The number of workers on the list ranged from just one in Warwickshire to 454 in London, 183 in Greater Manchester and 173 in Merseyside.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said: "People have been deprived of an honest living through these illegal tactics which has blighted their families' lives.
"Not a single company has yet been punished nor have any of them paid compensation. GMB is calling on local councils not to award any new public work to the companies that operated the blacklist till they compensate those they damaged."