Seventy-one construction workers have received blacklisting compensation payouts averaging nearly £80,000 each.
The £5.6m full and final settlement payout is the first tranche of compensation to members of construction union UCATT from major contractors caught up in the blacklisting scandal. Some individual payments among the bricklayers and carpenters were as high as £200,000 to compensate workers for years when they were denied employment.
The UCATT members were all claimants in the High Court group litigation, and negotiations for a further 89 workers who were victims of blacklisting are also on going. Other cases involving around 340 blacklisted workers are pending with the backing of the unions Unite and GMB. If any of the pending cases are not settled, they will go to trial in May.
Brian Rye, acting general secretary of UCATT, said: “The union has been fighting the blacklisting case since the day it was revealed.This initial tranche of compensation is the first significant milestone in the battle to win justice for blacklisted workers.”
As well as financial compensation, the unions want to secure a formal apology to the victims of blacklisting, and agreement that contractors concerned will provide training and future support to any of the victims who require it in order to assist them re-joining the industry.
The companies involved in the legal action are: Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC. A number of cases have now settled with a total payout so far by the firms in excess of £15m. The trial is scheduled to run for 10 weeks and set to start in May.