Recent revelations have shown the true extent of the blacklisting scandal, demonstrating clear collusion between the police and the bosses against trade unionists in the construction industry.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the exposure of the building industry blacklist, a newly released report proves that the police shared information with blacklisting bosses over decades.
Major construction firms such as Sir Robert McAlpine, Carillion, Balfour Beatty and Skanska funded the now notorious Consulting Association and the Economic League to spy on and deny work to union members who raised concerns about safety.
The Creedon Report into Operation Reuben, the internal police investigation into blacklisting, was disclosed by the Metropolitan Police to lawyers representing the Blacklist Support Group, due to their core participant status in the public inquiry into undercover policing.
The key findings of the 70 page report include admissions that:
- “Police, including Special Branches and the Security Services supplied information to the blacklist funded by the country’s major construction firms, The Consulting Association.” (para 4.2)
- “Special Branches throughout the UK had direct contact with the Economic League.” (para 13.1.2)
- The Metropolitan Police Special Branch Industrial Unit spied on union members “from teaching to the docks, attending conferences, and protests personally, and also developing well placed confidential contacts”. (para 6.11)
- Undercover police officer Mark Jenner, who infiltrated the construction union UCATT gathered intelligence on “over 300 individuals”. (para 11.8.3)
- Another police unit, the National Extremism and Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) gave a PowerPoint presentation to a meeting of the Consulting Association. (para 11.6.6)
- Police sharing information with big business and other bodies about prospective employees continues to this day through the Industrial Liaison Section within the National Domestic Extremism Unit. (para 11.1.17)
Roy Bentham, joint secretary of the Blacklist Support Group, commented:
“The police are supposed to uphold law and order, not spy on perfectly democratic organisations such as trade unions. Blacklisting is a national scandal and confirmation that the police colluded with this shameful and unlawful activity is beyond the pale. Justice demands a full stand-alone public inquiry into this disgraceful human rights conspiracy between big business and the UK’s political police.”
Imran Khan QC, lawyer for the Blacklist Support Group at the undercover policing public inquiry, added:
“This report is official confirmation of a process which many workers in the construction industry knew or suspected was going on for a long time. Many thousands of lives were ruined as a result of what can only be described as deplorable conduct on the part of the police. The UCPI has a duty to now dig even deeper to discover the true extent of what the police did and hold them to account for their actions.”