Leading Scottish personal injury firm and health and safety campaigners Thompsons Solicitors has joined a Scottish former bricklayer’s calls for compensation to be given to workers who were blacklisted by employers for standing up for workplace safety.
The comments come after reports reveal that the campaign for Europe-wide legislation on the issue was heard in Brussels yesterday. According to reports, Brian Higgins, originally from Milton in Glasgow, received a positive response from EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor at a meeting held with the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT).
In 2009, the UK information commissioner, revealed an “extensive intelligence database”, which the report says a number of major Scottish construction companies may have subscribed to, containing notes on 3000 “problem” workers – a number of which raised concerns over health and safety issues.
The practice of blacklisting trade unionists is now illegal in the UK but the law does not allow for past victims to seek redress.
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors and prominent health and safety campaigner, Patrick McGuire, said:
“Workers should never pay a price for highlighting health and safety at work.
“Since the days of blacklisting a lot has improved, but we have to remember that people in a number of cases have put their jobs and livelihoods on the line to get change.
“It is only right that the victims of blacklisting, who in some cases struggled to get jobs and were intimidated in the workplace, get justice and redress for what happened to them.
“People should not have suffered for demanding health and safety measures like helmets. The law in the UK recognises that it was wrong and the victims deserve justice.”