No Public Contracts for Blacklisting Companies.



UNISON Fife supporting a sister Trade Union, Unite, at a demonstration outside of Fife House this morning.  The demonstration was part of a national campaign to ensure that companies involved in operating a ‘blacklisting’ system are excluded, where legally possible, from our preferred list of suppliers, a campaign that UNISON Fife fully supports.


Fife Council is embarking on a number of projects which will see new schools, new affordable housing and new care homes being built here in Fife.  The practise of ‘blacklisting’ is archaic and draconian and has no place in modern day society.  It ruins reputations, leaves individuals unable to secure employment and sees families become destitute.  A motion to Fife Council’s Executive Committee on June 27th calls on the Council to support Trade Unions in a bid to eradicate such an unethical practise.


At our 2013 National Conference  we heard a very impassioned speech delivered by Ricky Tomlinson on this very issue.  Ricky and colleagues were victims of ‘blacklisting’ and still, decades on, are trying to clear their names. The  words on behalf of himself and affected comrades told of the heartache and injustices suffered by those who are victims of these archaic measures.  Ricky was given a standing ovation for his passion, his belief and his continued fight for justice. 


We all come from different backgrounds, many of our single status members work alongside colleagues in the craft sector who have been ‘blacklisted’.  Therefore we would call on all of our members to show their solidarity to this campaign and help ensure that Fife Council only use companies that sign up to ethical practises and fully support the fundamental right of being part of the Trade Union movement.






“This Council is deeply concerned by recent revelations that some major construction companies have been involved in denying employment to workers who have been engaged in trade union activity, such as the reporting of breaches of health and safety standards, through the unacceptable practice of operating a “blacklist” of these workers collated by private consultancies such as the Consulting Association.

This Council notes that:

 Information and evidence has been provided to the Scottish Select Affairs Committee during the committee’s enquiry into the use of blacklisting of trade unionists in Scotland


 The UK Information Commissioner has investigated and taken action against the Consulting Association for this practice


 Trade Unions (notably Unite, GMB and UCATT) have an on-going campaign against the blacklisting of trade unionists which has severely impacted on many trade unionists and their families


 It has been asserted that the blacklisting of trade unionists has involved covert surveillance and record keeping and may have involved the complicity of the police and security services



  • · The operation of such blacklists may be a breach of legal statutes, regulations and conventions covering employment rights, human rights, freedom of information, data protection and rights to freedom of association


 Victimisation of workers raising concerns over workplace health, safety and welfare discourage efforts to prevent workplace accidents, fatalities and injuries and encourage industrial disputes both official and unofficial


 The current consideration by the Scottish Government of legislation on rules for Public Procurement provide an opportunity to ensure that companies engage in the blacklisting of trade unionists are prevented from tendering for public sector contracts


 Councils, such as Hull City Council, have resolved to ensure that companies involved in blacklisting are not included, where permitted by legislation, in future lists of approved suppliers and have urged UK Government Ministers to ensure that such companies are prevented from securing future public sector contracts by the inclusion of appropriate clauses in the sustainable procurement bill being considered at Westminster


This Council resolves to:

 Support the campaign by trade unions against the operation of blacklists against trade unionists


 Where permitted by legislation, exclude companies involved in blacklisting of trade unionists from future approved suppliers lists


 Where permitted by legislation, ensure that companies included in future approved suppliers lists demonstrate that they have processes in place to encourage the reporting by workers, including those who are trade union members, of workplace concerns, particularly in respect of health, safety and welfare


 Write to the Scottish Government urging the inclusion of clauses in future Scottish bills covering public procurement to prevent companies involved in the blacklisting of trade unionists from securing future public sector contracts.