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Blacklisted workers join legal action.

Byline: MARC WADDINGTON Political Reporter

MORE than 80 people who fear they were blacklisted from the construction industry on Merseyside attended a special meeting about legal action against building firms.

The event, at the Jack Jones House Unite headquarters in Liverpool, took place ahead of a national convention on the 30-year-old scandal of the industry secretly refusing to give work to people on exclusion lists.

While some of those who attended the city centre event have already had their blacklisted status confirmed by an Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) raid on the headquarters of the Consulting Association, many who turned up now suspect they, too, have been blacklisted over the years. Roy Bentham, spokesman for the Merseyside Blacklist Support Group, said some of those at the meeting have joined the legal action being taken by solicitors Guney, Clark and Ryan.

Mr Bentham said as well as builders, electricians and plumbers, others could have been on the blacklists held by the Consulting Association - including environmentalists, academics and even MPs.

He added: "The Blacklist Support Group's position is again that only a full independent inquiry into this duplicity can ensure full transparency on this most serious of issues regarding collusion."

But some who may have been blacklisted at the height of Merseyside's trade union disputes in the 1970s and 1980s may mot be entitled to compensation.

Mr Bentham added: "Unfortunately, the solicitors have trouble getting insurance for those claimants who have files starting from before 1993, because it was the Economic League (who compiled them but no longer exist) then and there's no legal redress against them."

On March 23, a major summit on blacklisting will be addressed by the general secretaries of Unite, Len Mc-Cluskey, and the GMB, Paul Kenny, in London.


CAMPAIGNER: Roy Bentham, of the Merseyside Blacklist Support Group
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 28, 2013
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