24/08/2015

Surprised at Blacklister proposed for Dundee Rail Station

I am surprised that Dundee City Council is recommending that the contract to build the new Rail Station in Dundee should be awarded to Balfour Beatty.  Balfour Beatty along with a number of other firms has been considered guilty of operating a blacklist in the past.  I've been campaigning on this issue in Dundee over a number of years and was successful in getting the council to adopt a strong policy against blacklisters.  My motion which was agreed unanimously in April 2014supported the Scottish Government's stance.

 

I am surprised that Balfour Beatty have been put forward for this contract.  In my opinion they fall foul of Dundee City Council's clear and unequivocal opposition to blacklisting.  Indeed they fall foul of the Scottish Government's policy and are guilty of 'grave misconduct in the course of business and should be excluded from bidding for a public contract.'

 

I cannot understand how councillors can have voted for a strong stance against blacklisting and then would let this go through without making their views known.  I have written to the Chief Executive asking for an explanation of how it is that Dundee City Council's own policies are being ignored.  I will be trying to get the council to take a stance against blacklisting at the meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee.

 

Blacklisting is wrong, it is wrong to deny people work because of their trade union activity, or because they are concerned about health and safety.  This is public money which we are spending and we should be doing all that we can to ensure that it is spent ethically.
 
I have been campaigning since I was first elected for improvements to Dundee Rail Station which has offered a very poor welcome to our city for a number of years.  I want to see improvements at the Rail Station but we cannot ignore our previously stated policies to get it.