• MySTV

Unions claim firm running for V&A contract blacklisted workers

Bam Construction denies blacklisting workers as Dundee Council decides on building contract.

V&A Dundee
V&A Dundee

Unions are pressing a Scottish council not to award a contract to any firm found to have blacklisted construction workers.

Dundee City Council is set to decide which company will build the city's multimillion-pound branch of the V&A.

Unions say that building firm Bam should be excluded from the work because it has blacklisted workers, a claim denied by the company.

Steve Murphy, general secretary of the building workers' union Ucatt, said: "Until blacklisters fairly compensate the workers whose lives they ruined, they should be banned from public contracts.

"The Scottish Government is introducing clear guidelines to penalise blacklisters and Dundee Council must respect those rules."

The blacklist was discovered in 2009 after a raid by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on The Consulting Association (TCA), which compiled the names of more than 3000 mainly building workers.

Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee heard from the firm's former head of HR in December 2013.

Pat Swift, who held the executive post from 2004 to 2012, claimed Bam had never turned down anyone for work on the basis of a blacklist.

However, he admitted that an internal investigation held in 2009 was not "robust" and was criticised by committee chairman Ian Davidson MP for "not taking [the investigation] seriously".

A spokesman for Bam Construction said: "We can say categorically that Bam Construction in Scotland did not use the services of The Consulting Association nor engage in any activities relating to blacklisting.

"We confirm that Bam Construction in other parts of the UK used the referral services of TCA to a very limited degree and all such usage ceased completely in 1998 when the UK Data Protection Act was passed.

"The company has accounted for this, apologised, put appropriate procedures and training in place to prevent any such occurrence in the future, and has given a public commitment to compensate fairly anyone who can show they have suffered any detriment because of Bam's historical involvement with the TCA."

A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: "All contractors working for Dundee City Council have to demonstrate that they meet the Scottish Government's policy regarding any involvement in blacklisting."

Wider campaign

Meanwhile, the ICO has denied union claims that it is refusing to hand over details of workers whose names were on the blacklist.

The organisation said it was objecting to a court application by the GMB for up-to-date contact information it holds.

A spokesman said: "We don't hold up-to-date contact information for all those listed on the blacklist. We hold the original list, which we have already provided to the GMB.

"The contact details on that are more than five years old, and are incomplete in many cases.

"Last year we worked with the Department for Work and Pensions to get contact details for those individuals on the list who had a national insurance number listed.

"This gave us addresses for fewer than half of those on the list, and we subsequently wrote to those people.

"We were given the contact details expressly for this purpose and not for passing on to GMB. Our letter included GMB's contact details, so anyone who wished to speak to the union about the blacklist has had the opportunity to do so.

"We also hold contact details (though not necessarily up-to-date details) for around 500 individuals who have contacted us directly and learned they were included on the blacklist.

"These individuals are all aware they are on the blacklist and have a copy of the record held about them. None of these individuals were asked for their permission to pass their information on to third parties, including trade unions."

Justin Bowden, national officer of the GMB, said: "Dundee provides a focus today for the wider campaign to get justice for everybody who was blacklisted. We expect every company guilty of blacklisting to own up, clean up and pay up."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.