Jim McGovern calls for vigilance over Dundee V&A construction contract

5 September 2014


Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has joined with the Dundee Trades Union Council to call for vigilance during the process of awarding the construction contract for the V&A project.

The company widely regarded as the frontrunner to receive the contract, BAM construction, was revealed to have been involved with blacklisting organisation The Consulting Association for many years.

Instances of blacklisting included the dismissal of a Unite shop steward in 2012 for attending a political demonstration and the blacklisting of a crane driver and trade union safety rep on the Dockland’s Light Rail project in London in the 1980s due to his trade union activities. 

This revelation came to light during an evidence session of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in December 2013 where Pat Swift, former Human Resources chief at the company between 2004 and 2013, was questioned.

Due to his approach toward giving evidence the former HR head was labelled by Mr McGovern, a member of the committee, as "one of the most evasive witnesses ever” to come before the committee.  

As a result of the wider investigation the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council have introduced measures to ensure that companies involved in blacklisting are not awarded public procurement contracts.

Jim McGovern said;

“The V&A development is vital for Dundee’s future.

“That is why it is crucial that the project is completed in the right way and in an ethical way. It must benefit the workers involved in the project as well as the wider community.

“Dundee City Council must ensure that the companies awarded contracts are beyond reproach.

“As a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee I heard about the blacklisting conducted by this company against innocent workers from the horse’s mouth.

“The allegations the committee heard were historic, and that particular blacklist has now been shut down, but it is vital that extra vigilance is maintained towards companies with previous form for these damaging practices.

“During his evidence session Mr Swift demonstrated no remorse for BAM’s activities as recently as 2012.

“The Scottish Government and Dundee City Council have made a great deal of their commitment to stamping out blacklisting,.

“Now they must ensure that this is carried out in practice. T

“They must pay close attention to BAM’s employment practices and they must make sure that there are no fears of misbehaviour before awarding them this contract.”

A report of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee evidence session can be found via this link:






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