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Thu December 03 2020

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Union urges Sunderland to avoid Kier and Carillion

27 Nov 13 The GMB union is calling on Sunderland City Council not to consider contractors that engaged in blacklisting for a economic development partnership that it plans to form.

Sunderland cabinet meets today to consider a report on the appointment of a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) partner and the subsequent establishment of a Sunderland Delivery Vehicle (SDV). The cabinet report sets out the three remaining preferred bidders left in the race to be the LABV partner. Among the bidding groups are Kier and Carillion, both of whom have admitted their use of the Consulting Association blacklist.

The council is looking to sign up a partner to invest in economic development and new housing in the city, developing under-used council-owned land.

GMB regional organiser for Sunderland City Council Chris Preston said “GMB has highlighted the potential use of companies involved in blacklisting by the council in such a massive project that will perhaps set the agenda for Sunderland.

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“Companies like Carillion and Kier have admitted being involved in blacklisting but no recompense has been given for the blight on the lives of people and their families many of whom are in the northeast. Blacklisting is a scourge.”

He added: “It is significant that Sunderland Council have not engaged in debating blacklisting. It is highly regrettable that the LABV process appears to have in it no safeguards or sanctions for being involved in the absolutely disgraceful practice of blacklisting. Other councils have stood up and been counted. Why can't Sunderland?”

Today also sees law firm Leigh Day serve particulars of claim in the High Court in the GMB legal action against Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine for blacklisting GMB members. A further hearing is due on 29th November to make a decision about a group litigation order.

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