Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
January 24, 2018

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Carillion “ruined” my life by blacklisting me, claims engineer

An engineer has claimed his life was “ruined” after he was blacklisted by Carillion for raising health and safety concerns.

Dave Smith told he was blacklisted by the company, which collapsed last week, after he complained about the dangers of asbestos on building sites and tried to improve health and safety conditions through the trade unions.

Mr Smith, who founded the Blacklisted Support Group, told the newspaper within a year he was struggling and unable to get a job.

‘Children on milk tokens’

“I was a qualified engineer during one of the longest building booms this country has ever known,” he said. “But my children were on milk tokens.

“When everyone else is taking their kids to Disney World in Florida, unemployment is not nice.

“For the only time in my life, I went to the doctors asking for sleeping pills. After another year, it was obvious I was being blacklisted that I left the industry altogether.”

For many years, the construction industry denied claims of blacklisting.

Raid on Consulting Association

But details first emerged back in 2009 following a raid on the premises of the Consulting Association in Droitwich by the Information Commissioner’s office.

The raid uncovered a list of more than 3,000 names and reference cards that included allegations against workers linked to their political views and trade union membership.

In May 2016, the courts awarded 256 workers more than £10 million in compensation after a lengthy legal battle between the trade unions and a group of construction firms.

Mr Smith has subsequently written a book on the scandal – Blacklisted – with the investigative journalist Phil Chamberlain and is speaking at an open meeting at the Royal College at the University of Strathclyde on 8th February, starting at 3pm on the subject.

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