Carillion had been set to take a stall at the Labour conference’s exhibition in Brighton next week. However, concerns about the company’s participation were raised at this week’s Labour Party national executive committee (NEC) meeting by Steve Rotheram MP and Ucatt national political officer Jim Kennedy. The NEC agreed and decided to barr Carillion.
Carillion is a regular exhibitor at party conferences, to schmooze with local councillors in support of its public sector. However, since its involvement in the Consulting Association blacklist saga came to light, and with its ongoing (and unrelated) dispute within unions about the treatment of its employees at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Carillion is not the favourite company of Labour activists.
Carillion’s exhibition stand at last year’s Labour Party conference was subjected to protest action by activists.
As Carillion had already paid for the exhibition space, Labour has to refund the money. Ucatt’s executive council has agreed to donate £11,000 to the party to cover the loss of revenue.
The GMB union, meanwhile, has now taken over Carillion's stand space to promote its own campaign for firms involved in the blacklist scandal to be excluded from public contracts.
GMB estimates that in one three-month period alone, Carillion checked 2,776 names with the Consulting Association and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names. This makes it one of the bigger users, the union says.
In the Swindon hospital dispute, there were 21 days of strike action last year amid claism of bullying and discrimination and there have been 57 cases filed against Carillion in the employment tribunal.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: "The Labour Party must be applauded for kicking Carillion out of the exhibition hall at its conference. Clearly they are as sick as the rest of the Labour movement by Carillion and their blacklisting mates.”