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Crossrail rejects Unite’s claims about blacklisting

By Peter MacLennan

Crossrail Limited has rejected the unsubstantiated claims made by the Unite union that blacklisting has taken place on the Crossrail project.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “Crossrail Limited is not aware of, and has seen no evidence of, blacklisting of any kind in connection with the Crossrail project. If Unite has any evidence then we wish to see it; we have made this point a number of times and yet none has been forthcoming. Crossrail has written to the trades unions on several occasions setting out our commitment to taking firm, decisive and immediate action if any substantive evidence can be presented.

“All contractors working on the Crossrail project must comply with the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010 which explicitly outlaws the blacklisting of construction workers. All our contractors are fully aware that blacklisting is unlawful as well as being a breach of contract which would result in immediate action by Crossrail.”

The Consulting Association was closed down in 2009 following enforcement action by the Information Commissioner, well before the award of the first tunnelling and station contracts in December 2010.

Crossrail has asked for and received assurances from all its principal contractors providing confirmation that none have engaged in any blacklisting activity on Crossrail.

Construction workers on the Crossrail project are employed by the principal contractors and their supply chains, not by Crossrail Limited.

Crossrail has also put in place key requirements and expectations for contractors across a range of industry issues including industrial relations, direct employment (PAYE), and health and safety.

Over 7,000 people are now working on the Crossrail project and that number will increase rapidly over the next couple of years. Tens of thousands of further jobs are supported through the supply chain by regionally-based manufacturers and suppliers.


For further information contact the press office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors

Crossrail’s requirements and expectations for contractors are as follows:

Good and constructive relations

Crossrail will maintain good and constructive industrial relations and expects its contractors to do likewise. Contractors must ensure that effective processes are in place to address and resolve any concerns raised by the trade unions and must not discourage employees from joining a trade union.

Direct employment

Crossrail fully supports the ethos of direct employment (PAYE). Many workers in the construction industry are self-employed or operate under service company status even if the worker is solely employed on a project for a significant period of time.

The conditions of Crossrail’s construction contracts also oblige all contractors to implement policies to ensure that employers pay wages that meet national legal standards and industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher.


Crossrail Limited requires all companies working on the project to comply with the law, which includes compliance with the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010.

Health and safety

Crossrail regards the safety of all those working on the Crossrail project as paramount and is committed to delivering Crossrail to the highest standards of safety at all times.

Crossrail has established a wide-reaching health and safety programme to support the construction industry building on the impressive health and safety achievements of the Olympics and expects all contractors to participate fully in this, including initiatives to actively encourage the observation, reporting and correction of any areas of safety concern.

Apprenticeships and Training

Crossrail has included provisions in its principal contracts that set out requirements concerning apprenticeships and job opportunities. Principal contractors are contractually required to create an agreed number of apprenticeships and new job start roles for individuals who are long-term unemployed or out of education or training for six months or more during the life of their contract.

Supply Chain

Crossrail has so far awarded contracts to a value of over £5bn – this includes the major tunnelling contracts and main construction contracts for Paddington, Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street stations. Crossrail requires Tier 1 contractors to use CompeteFor to advertise all appropriate opportunities and to encourage their sub-contractors to do the same.

About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. 

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL).

CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.