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Crossrail response - Unite drops claims of blacklisting on Crossrail project

By Peter MacLennan

The Unite union has today confirmed that there has been no contravention of the blacklisting regulations on the Crossrail contracts being undertaken by BFK JV (Bam, Ferrovial, Kier) with Unite agreeing that no blacklisting has taken place.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Blacklisting is indefensible, unacceptable and unlawful. Over the last year, the Unite union has made a series of misleading and unsubstantiated allegations concerning blacklisting on the Crossrail project. By their own admission, Unite advised the Scottish Affairs Committee that their evidence was circumstantial and was not sufficient to prove blacklisting.  Unite has now issued a joint statement with our western tunnels contractor BFK stating that no blacklisting has taken place.”

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For further information contact the press office on 020 3229 9552 or email pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk

Notes to editors

After hearing from Unite on 2 July, the Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee called for a government inquiry into allegations of blacklisting on the Crossrail project and referred the matter to the Business Secretary for investigation. The Business Secretary subsequently referred it on to the Information Commissioner.

Unite suggested to the Committee several times that Crossrail Limited have been “chronically incurious” about Unite’s blacklisting allegations.  Since 2012, Crossrail Limited has repeatedly asked Unite for evidence in support of its allegations. Unite have consistently failed to do so and have now acknowledged that these allegations are not well founded.

Unite further claimed to the Committee that there has been a policy “to keep trade unions off the site” even though a Unite shop steward and a Unite safety representative continue to play an active role at BFK’s Westbourne Park site to this day.

Construction workers on the Crossrail project are employed by the principal contractors and their supply chains, not by Crossrail Limited. The conditions of Crossrail’s construction contracts oblige all contractors to implement policies that allow employees to join trades unions.

Since 2012, Crossrail has supported a quarterly joint forum with all three construction unions (UCATT, Unite and GMB). These meetings continue to take place, although Unite has opted not to attend since February.