Braintree district: Could it be you? Two of district's construction workers among those illegally blacklisted (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Braintree district: Could it be you? Two of district's construction workers among those illegally blacklisted
11:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in News
A mystery scaffolder from Witham and an electrician from Braintree could have spent more than a decade unable to find work after being unknowingly blacklisted.
The names of more than 3,200 construction workers who expressed safety concerns or were involved with unions and, therefore deemed troublesome, were secretly blacklisted by an organisation called the Consulting Association.
The scandal was exposed in 2009 when an office in Worcestershire was raided by Government investigators.
The database, known to have been in operation for at least 15 years and used by a number of large construction companies to vet workers, was closed down and private investigator Ian Kerr was fined £5,000 for administering it.
Despite the discovery, the Information Commissioners Office has never proactively contacted workers to notify them they were on the blacklist and will only confirm an individual’s inclusion if written to.
The union GMB, which believes fewer than 10 per cent of people are aware they were ever on the list, has now released a map exposing just how widespread the practice was and urging suspicious workers to check if they were listed.
Among the 57 workers blacklisted in Essex were a scaffolder from Witham, who was a member of construction union UCATT, and an electrician from Braintree.
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