Call for Salmond to plead blacklisted workers’ case

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THE First Minister has been urged to use his influence to ensure two firms bidding for the contract to build the new Sick Kids apologise to workers who were blacklisted in the construction trade.

Lothians MSP Neil Findlay said that BAM Consruction and Balfour Beatty, which have made a joint bid for the estimated £300 million contract, had been “up to their necks” in the blacklisting of 500 Scottish workers.

Mr Findlay said that the firms should not be awarded any public sector contracts unless they apologise and agree to pay compensation for “ruined lives and careers”.

Unions held protests this week outside the NHS Lothian headquarters at Waverley Gate against blacklisting, after the firms’ bid was announced as one of three finalists for the contract. Unite says it has evidence that BAM had been part of a consortium that sacked 28 workers for raising health and safety concerns.

Both BAM and Balfour Beatty have been implicated in a blacklisting scandal in an investigation by Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee.

Alex Salmond responded by saying he had previously made remarks at the Scottish Trades Union Congress Conference in which he had “addressed in particular what we believe that the government can do in terms of public sector contracts to ensure that blacklisting is eradicated from the Scottish labour market”.