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Blacklisted construction workers set to receive compensation payouts

Major construction companies are to compensate workers who were blacklisted from working on building sites.

Today's announcement follows years of campaigning by unions after it was discovered that a company called The Consulting Association (TCA) kept more than 3,200 names, mostly building workers, on a secret blacklist.

Workers have claimed they were denied work because they were active members of a trade union group or for raising legitimate concerns about health and safety on building sites.

The blacklist was uncovered following a raid by the Information Commissioner's Office in 2009.

The ICO seized a database, of 3,213 names of construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies.

In a joint statement, the companies - Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci, said they all apologised "for their involvement with TCA and the impact that its database may have had on any individual construction worker".

The companies have to established the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to make it easy for blacklisted workers to claim access to compensation.

The companies have invited workers' representatives to enter into a period of engagement to ensure that the proposed terms of the scheme are fair and effective. The group is also engaging with other interested parties.

Other companies who were part of the TCA have been invited to join the compensation scheme.

Justin Bowden, national officer for the GMB union, said the next step for the companies was to "clean up and pay up".

"The victims and their families will either be fairly compensated including the offer of jobs or GMB will ensure justice for its members through the High Court," he said.