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Grim Reaper haunts Manchester Labour party conference in construction worker blacklist protest

By Dean Wilkins

Activists dressed as the Grim Reaper have stormed Labour’s annual Manchester conference to protest against the illegal blacklisting of construction workers.

GMB trade union members protested in the conference’s exhibition area after thousands of people have been put of work without their knowledge.

Construction giant Carillion was one of the main firms targeted by the group who are battling to earn 3,213 blacklisted workers compensation and an apology.

GMB national officer Paul Maloney said: “This protest is to highlight that none of the workers blacklisted have had an apology or any compensation from employers like Carillion who blacklisted health and safety representatives.

“Only 194 have been informed that they were blacklisted and the rest still don’t know.

“It is also to highlight the terrible toll of death and injury in the construction sector and to underline the importance of the proper enforcement of health and safety laws to prevent this carnage.”

GMB want 40 construction companies to pay compensation to those who have been put on lists – a figure that could reach up to £600million.

A spokesman for Carillion said: “We are very disappointed by the GMB’s actions this morning at the Labour party conference.

“They sent out a wholly misleading message about Carillion’s health and safety record, and cynically mixed these up with a raft of incorrect and untrue allegations about our alleged involvement in blacklisting.

“Carillion has one of the best health and safety records in the construction industry. Last year, we reported our lowest ever accident frequency rate, with 0.07 reportable accidents per 100,000 hours worked by our employees and sub-contractors.

“Despite this, any accident is one too many – so Carillion is committed to continuous improvement to prevent problems from recurring.”

Picture courtesy of @GMB_Union

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