HR professionals who ran the blacklist for nearly 20 years must apologise for what they did and atone by telling all they know about how it operated says GMB.

GMB, the union for construction workers, has written to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) enquiring whether 34 Human Resources professionals named as administering the construction industry blacklist are current or past members of the organization.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. 2,768 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist are not aware that their names are on the blacklist after the ICO decided not to contact them directly.

The 34 HR professionals included in the GMB letter to CIPD were named in Parliament as being the managers who operated the blacklist on a day to day basis.

Last week eight blacklisting companies (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) went some way towards an apology and have offered to compensate the victims they blacklisted. This is an important step forward in the campaign on blacklisting.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said, “GMB was sitting just behind Mr Cheese in the Houses of Parliament when he said, under oath, to the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into Blacklisting that the CIPD will say, if requested, whether or not a person is member of his organisation.

To assist with our own inquiries, GMB is today asking Mr Cheese if these HR professionals are current or past CIPD members.

GMB is calling for all the HR professionals who ran the blacklist as generals, colonels and lieutenants for nearly 20 years to apologise for what they did and atone by telling all they know about how it operated. Their doing so is an essential part of the clean up as they systematically violated the civil rights of their fellow citizens. For them the Nuremburg defence that they were only following orders will not wash.”