Call for blacklisting victims to come forward

COUNCILLOR Jay Kramer has called for those who believe they have been victims of blacklisting in the construction industry to come forward.

Hastings Borough Council highlighted the practice which has prevented a significant number of people from gaining employment, at its July meeting, when the following motion was agreed unanimously: “Hastings Borough Council deplores the illegal practice of ‘blacklisting’ within the construction industry.

“We will do all we can to ensure that any company proved to have been involved in illegal blacklisting practices and not to have indemnified their victims, will not be invited to tender contracts (where permitted by legislation) by Hastings Borough Council.”

In 2009, the Information Commissioner’s Officer discovered that 44 construction firms had been using an illegal blacklist which prevented thousands of workers, who were labelled as ‘trouble-makers’ from being employed. The issue was highlighted in a BBC Panorama programme in June, which interviewed victims of this list.

Cllr Kramer, who proposed the motion, said: “I am delighted that we had cross-party support for this motion, which shows that everyone who hears what has happened condemns the practice and wants to ensure that it never happens again. I am aware of two local people in Hastings who have come forward to say that they found themselves on the blacklist.

“If there are other people out there who feel that over the past 20 years you may have been discriminated against by being refused employment, please come forward and contact me.”

Contact cllr Kramer at cllr.jay.kramer@hastings.gov.uk.