“The creation of a training fund controlled by Unite is a huge breakthrough, and is to be welcomed, as it will allow the union to assist victims of blacklisting return to employment.
“The refusal of Cullum McAlpine to give evidence is bitterly disappointing.
“Unite remains utterly committed to ensuring that those guilty of ruining workers’ lives should be forced to account for their actions. This is why it is absolutely essential that a full public inquiry into blacklisting is imperative.
“The Labour party is committed to holding a public inquiry into blacklisting and it is to their deep shame that the Conservative government, many of whose friends were key players in the blacklisting scandal, has refused to act.
“The blacklisting construction companies promised public statement is welcome about their future good behaviour and a new relationship with unions, but these words must be followed up by genuine actions. If they are serious, they must provide genuine unrestricted access to their sites and workforces, end the practice of moving union activists from one job to another to disrupt union organisation, end the reliance on agency labour and end the scandal of bogus self-employment.”
In a joint statement, the contractors said: “Despite many organisations subscribing to the Consulting Association, only eight companies – Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK, Vinci and Carillion – have been instrumental in addressing the issue and the impact it has had on the lives of affected workers.
“The eight companies have admitted their involvement with the Consulting Association and have issued a full public apology. This apology was accepted and acknowledged as genuine by the unions and other groups representing affected workers. The group has worked hard to make financial settlements for claims from affected workers. It is pleased that the agreement announced today means that these workers will receive compensation without the need for a lengthy trial.
“The group is committed to ensuring that blacklisting can never affect the construction industry again. Each company has implemented stringent and transparent HR practices and policies within their own operations and throughout their supply chains, and they are working together to ensure that the modern UK construction industry provides the highest standards of employment and HR practice for its workforce.”