Blacklist companies in the dock

Construction companies accused of blacklisting on an industrial scale were in the dock today at the Royal Courts of Justice.


The High Court claim being brought by Guney, Clark & Ryan solicitors on behalf of nearly 100 claimants (Steve Acheson & others v Sir Robert McAlpine & others).

The full list of defendant companies are: Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty, BAM, Carillion, Costain, Laing, Kier Ltd, Skanska, Vinci, Taylor Woodrow and AMEC. Evidence from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting has shown that the individuals who ran the blacklist were directors of these companies including Callum McAlpine, founding chairman of the Consulting Association blacklist. Decisions about the illegal blacklist were discussed and agreed at Board level.

Steve Acheson, lead claimant and chair of the Blacklist Support Group said:

“It’s amazing how these millionaires can sit round tables and make judgments that affect lives on a permanent basis and that’s acceptable despite the laws it breaks. Yet blow up a giant inflatable rat and all hell is let loose in the press.

These directors have worked outside the law and breached our human rights. They know what they have done wrong and what they were inflicting on thousands of families and I would like to see some of these face prison sentences.”

A protest by blacklisted workers was held outside the courts before the case began.