Richard Baker MSP calls for apology

Richard Baker MSP.
Richard Baker MSP.

North-east MSP Richard Baker has called on companies who are part of the consortium awarded the contract for the AWPR and have previously been identified as involved in blacklisting to apologise to workers whose careers were ruined by their involvement in this practise.

He has also questioned Ministers on the approach they have taken in dealing with this issue when awarding the contract.

Mr Baker said: “The AWPR is a highly lucrative contract where the successful consortium will receive millions of pounds of taxpayers money. Companies who are part of the consortium which has been awarded the contract for the AWPR have previously been identified as being involved in the blacklisting of construction workers.

“When awarding this contract it was important for Ministers not only to be sure that these companies will deliver this project on time and on budget but also to guarantee they will not engage in the pernicious practise of blacklisting. Ministers have said they are committed to tackling the issue of blacklisting and that they have taken steps in the Procurement Reform Bill to prevent it in the future. But they must also provide reassurance that steps have been taken to ensure that companies who have previously been involved in this pernicious practice have apologised to and compensated those workers whose careers they have ruined.

“Ministers must explain how these companies have taken the ‘remedial action’ which they said would be demanded of them. If these firms have not apologised or provided compensation or do not act immediately to do so now the extent of their commitment to tackling blacklisting will be questioned and that of ministers too.”