'Blacklisted' man had to emigrate


under construction

An electrician who emigrated to Canada because he could not get work in the UK believes his name was on a blacklist of thousands of construction workers, it has been revealed.

The man, who left north west England several years ago, has discovered that a name identical to his is on the secret file of over 3,200 mainly building workers.

The blacklist was discovered in 2009 after a raid by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on the Consulting Association, which has since been closed down.

The ICO is writing to 1,200 people whose names appear on the list, which was used by over 40 construction firms.

Unions believe many people on the list were denied work, often for simply raising health and safety concerns on building sites.

The electrician has contacted the GMB union, which is taking a case in the High Court tomorrow, claiming defamation on behalf of a number of workers on the blacklist.

The electrician said the inclusion of his name on the blacklist might explain why he could not find work in the UK.

If confirmed, it would be the first case of someone on the blacklist emigrating because they were denied work.

The GMB will claim in court that workers on the blacklist were described as "troublemakers", or a "disruptive influence" on building sites.

One was described as a Communist Party member, and another as a union activist.

A number of other legal cases are being taken, with the aim of seeking compensation for workers whose names were on the blacklist.