Skanska dragged into builder blacklist case

Skanska dragged into builder blacklist case
Swedish construction firm Skanska has been named in the builder blacklist scandal currently making its way through the British courts, with disgruntled builders demanding compensation after being denied jobs due to union affiliations.

Seventy-nine workers in the UK have asked for compensation after it emerged that several construction companies had access to a database of blacklisted workers – effectively cutting them out of the labour market, according to the claim made in court.

The suit against Sir Robert McAlpine construction was valued at £17 million ($26.4 million) by the Guardian in January, and analysts at the time said several other companies would likely be sucked into the legal quagmire.

Swedish builders union magazine Byggnadsarbetaren reported on Wednesday that McAlpine has now submitted a list of nine other companies – including Skanska – to the High Court. McAlpine claims these companies also accessed the information collected by an organization called The Consulting Association.

One person on the blacklist was a 46-year-old engineer named Dave Smith, who had made his way onto the list for bringing his employers’ attention to safety hazards on building sites where he worked. The Guardian reported that the list also included information on trade union membership and political affiliation.

The legal document filed in January read: “The files regularly included recommendations as to whether an individual should be employed. Typical entries were in terms such as ‘Do not employ and ‘Above not recommended by Amicus’.”

When contacted by Byggnadsarbetaren earlier this year, Skanska said it would likely be pulled into the legal case. The company chose not to comment on the new phase of legal proceedings this week, instead emailing the magazine to say it took the case seriously, distanced itself from blacklisting, and would cooperate in full with British authorities.

TT/The Local/at

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