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Don’t deal with blacklisters

Unite warns council of building firm’s past
Barckley Sumner, Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Unite will tomorrow (Thursday March 2) urge London’s Haringey council not to ‘deal with blacklisters’, in a £2bn project which will see hundreds of long-standing Tottenham tenants removed from their homes.


The council is proposing to establish a joint venture company with developers Lend Lease, which will see thousands of tenants on the Northumberland Park Estate removed from their homes and the entire site redeveloped. The redevelopment proposal includes 1,300 homes and 500 shops.


Unite’s assistant chief of staff, Adrian Weir, will address Haringey council’s overview and scrutiny committee about the blacklisting activities of Lend Lease. The meeting is taking place after a number of Labour councillors ensured that the council’s plans to go ahead with the controversial scheme were revisited by “calling in” the decision.


Blacklisting scandal

Lend Lease, and its predecessor company Bovis, were involved in the notorious Consulting Association blacklisting scandal which resulted in 3,213 construction workers having their lives ruined. In 2013 Unite issued High Court proceedings against the companies involved in the blacklisting scandal and Lend Lease was eventually forced to settle.


The development is particularly controversial as Lend Lease undertook a similar development on the Heygate Estate in Southwark. When the development was completed many of the former tenants were unable to return to their former homes and were dispersed to areas outside of London.


The Northumberland Park Estate is particularly attractive for developers as it is situated between the Tottenham Hotspur stadium development and the proposed Crossrail 2 train line.


In his address Weir will say, “Lend Lease were blacklisters and breached building workers’ human rights – the right to be active in your union. In the absence of other sanctions, it is the view of Unite that blacklisters should not be rewarded with public contracts, particularly by Labour councils.


“Blacklisting is bigger than just damaging the individual worker – blacklisting is a form of collective intimidation. It sends out strong signals to everyone in the industry that if you stand up for your rights and the rights of others then sooner or later no construction employer will take you on.”





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