It's been six years since investigative journalists published their expose accusing London's Metropolitan Police of colluding with the UK's construction cartel to blacklist workers who complained about unsafe working conditions, abusive bosses and wage-theft, as well as union organisers and other "troublemakers" — this week, the Met confirmed that its officers were an active part of the illegal blacklist.
The admission follows an internal investigation that concluded that the allegations were "on the balance of probabilities … proven."
Scotland Yard concluded its investigation and reached this conclusion two years ago, but suppressed publication of its findings "due to its sensitivity." The decision to keep the finding of wrongdoing was personally taken by the Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe. According to the police investigation, the police role in the blacklist was "overt and covert."
The blacklisting operation was found to be unlawful and closed down in 2009 by the Information Commissioner's Office after publication of an article in the Guardian.
The privacy watchdog discovered that the blacklist, operating under the anodyne name of the Consulting Association since the early 1990s, had been financed by more than 40 construction firms. An investigator who maintained the files was fined £5,000.
In 2016, the firms apologised in court and paid about £75m to more than 700 blacklisted workers. An earlier incarnation of the blacklist, known as the Economic League, had been running since at least the 1970s, the firms admitted.
Officers likely to have passed personal files to blacklisters, says Met
[Rob Evans/The Guardian]