An Olympics construction firm looked to block jobseekers from working on the site of the Aquatics Centre — simply for their trade union activities. In a letter sent to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Balfour Beatty said they checked job applicants against an illegal blacklist operated by the Consulting Association.
The news comes as a blow to ODA chief exec Dennis Hone, who repeatedly denied a conspiracy against Olympics jobseekers — despite operators of the blacklist admitting under oath that checks had been conducted by companies including Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert McAlpine and “possibly” Skanska. Their illegal scheme was brought to a grinding halt in 2009 after the offices of the Consulting Association were raided by regulators.
Hone told the London Assembly last November:
“The ODA did not receive any evidence or could find any evidence of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise.”
But it was a month after his grilling by the Budget and Performance Committee that Hone took the revolutionary step of, erm, writing to Balfour and asking them. Their response reveals that they checked 12 new jobseekers against a blacklist — but could not put a figure on the number screened before transfer from other Balfour projects.
One of the most senior executives implicated in the scandal, Sir Robert McAlpine executive Callum McAlpine, faces a committee of MPs next Tuesday.