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Balfour Beatty, Kier and Laing O'Rourke among co-defendants on Sir Robert McAlpine blacklist case

Sir Robert McAlpine has issued legal notices which add nine major contractors as co-defendants in a High Court action being taken by allegedly blacklisted construction workers.

The notices – known as Part 20 claims – were issued to 33 companies falling into nine main brands.

Sir Robert McAlpine is facing a High Court claim from more than 100 allegedly blacklisted construction workers, represented by Stoke Newington-based solicitors Guney, Clark and Ryan.

It is alleged the construction firm and others conspired to amass a database of information against thousands of people used to prevent them earning a living through their trade.

Now Sir Robert McAlpine has issued the notices to companies owned by Costain, Bam, Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, Vinci Skanska, Carillion, and Amec as co-defendants in the case.

In a statement to Construction News, Sir Robert McAlpine confirmed that it had issued the Part 20 Claims against nine construction groups “in relation to its ongoing defence of allegations of ‘blacklisting’ of workers in the industry”.

“Sir Robert McAlpine believes that all of the companies that have been served these legal documents were participants in the Consulting Association and all will join Sir Robert McAlpine as co-defendants in the action brought by a small number of construction workers.”

The Consulting Association was the company paid by construction firms to collect information on workers.

It was raided by the ICO in 2009 and a list was seized containing the names of around 3,000 allegedly blacklisted workers.

That list is being cross-referenced with government records to determine which individuals can be contacted and informed that they were on the list.

The Information Commissioner’s Office – the information watchdog – was last week referred concerns from the Scottish Affairs Committee relating to alleged blacklisting of workers on Crossrail, which Crossrail strongly denies.

The committee chair wrote that they had received “what we believe to be clear proof” that blacklisting has taken place within a Crossrail contract run by the Bam, Ferrovial and Kier joint venture.

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