71 blacklisted victims share £5.6m compensation
A total of 71 members of construction union UCATT have begun to receive blacklisting compensation payouts averaging nearly £80,000 each.
The compensation is for breach of confidence/misuse of private information, breach of the Data Protection Act 1988, defamation and loss of earnings.
Some individual payments among the bricklayers and carpenters were as high as £200,000 to compensate workers for years when they were denied employment.
Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, said: “UCATT has been fighting the blacklisting case since the day it was revealed. This initial tranche of compensation is the first significant milestone in the battle to win justice for blacklisted workers. I hope that this compensation will provide some recompense for these members who have suffered appalling treatment at the hands of the blacklisters.”
UCATT has a total of 160 cases for the victims of blacklisting and negotiations are ongoing for compensation for the remaining cases. Unless settlement is agreed the cases will go to trial in May 2016.
Aside from the financial compensation UCATT are also trying to secure a formal apology made in the High Court to the victims of blacklisting. There is also a determination to ensure that all documentation in the case is preserved so that if a public inquiry is secured into the scandal, the information can be properly examined.
UCATT’s lawyers are also attempting to secure a guarantee that if any further documents are discovered relating to the blacklisting of workers or their personal information, the individual is given access to them and they are then destroyed by the blacklisting companies, in order to prevent future blacklisting.
The legal teams involved in the case are trying to secure agreement that the companies concerned will provide training and future support to any of the victims who require it in order to assist them re-joining the industry.
Mr Rye added: “I want to praise the bravery of our members in pursuing these claims during this long legal process as well as the dedication and hard work of our solicitors OH Parsons and the barristers who are representing our members.”