Derbyshire Labour have led the way this year by cracking down on blacklisting as part of their campaign for a Fair Deal for Derbyshire.
Derbyshire Labour decided that action needed to be taken as the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) raided the business offices of The Consulting Association and found a blacklist of over 3,200 individual workers. The blacklist contained information about worker’s personal relationships, trade union activity and employment history. This was traded for profit and used by over 40 construction companies to deny employment to people who had reported breaches of health and safety, or been active in their trade union.
Commenting on the decision to take action over blacklisting, Labour Councillor John Owen who is Deputy Cabinet Member for Council Services, said:
“Blacklisting has been used by company executives who will cut corners and put people in danger in order to squeeze-out extra profit for their own pockets. This is a scandal on the same scale as phone hacking and the victims have been devastated by long periods of unemployment and real financial hardship just for trying to get fair pay and a safe place to work.
This is just part of a wider attack on Derbyshire people as we struggle with the government’s cost of living crisis: food and fuel prices have soared, V.A.T has been hiked, wages have been cut and the government has slashed Derbyshire council services by £157m.
This is why we are determined to make sure that Derbyshire people are able to fight for a fair deal in the workplace by ensuring that no companies working for Derbyshire County Council and the Derbyshire tax payer engage in blacklisting.”
Derbyshire Labour is now the controlling party at Derbyshire County Council and has ensured that the council will do the following:
- update our tender documentation and commercial questionnaire to explicitly mention ‘blacklisting’ activity
- require companies tendering for our contracts to demonstrate that they are not using blacklists
- require companies tendering our contracts to demonstrate that they have processes in place to encourage the reporting, by their employees, of workplace concerns, particularly in respect of health, safety and welfare
- exclude companies involved in the blacklisting of workers from securing our contracts
- seek to not renew existing contracts if we believe a contractor has been blacklisting workers, until a time when all related disputes are resolved and it is clearly proven that fair and transparent recruitment process have been put in place
- Examine existing contracts with any of the companies listed by the ICO and ask for reassurances that the company uses no form of blacklisting to inform their employment decisions.