MSP warns of Blacklisters’ Crossing nickname for bridge

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THE new Forth road bridge risks being named the Blacklisters’ Crossing, Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay has warned.

In a debate at the Scottish Parliament, he said it had now been established beyond any doubt that the biggest construction companies in Scotland and the UK had financed and used a centrally-held secret list to check up on prospective workers and deny people employment for raising health and safety issues, exposing dangerous work practices or raising trade union issues.

Mr Findlay said the companies involved “scandalously” included Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, and warned that the association could prove to be a troubling one for the future reputation of the bridge project.

“I worry that if we are looking for a new name for the Forth crossing, if we don’t watch out it will be known as the Blacklisters’ Crossing,” he said.

He said blacklisting was a major human rights abuse and called for a Scottish inquiry into the practice.

Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said she was not convinced of the merits of another inquiry while the House of Commons Scottish affairs committee was still investigating the issue.

She said the committee was probing whether blacklisting was still going on in the construction industry or more widely, especially in Scotland.