Fury over FTSE 100 ‘blacklister’ Amec’s role in £8bn nuclear plant

Amec’s links to firm that ran secret database may make it unfit for contracts, union says

Trade unions are pressuring nuclear authorities and the Welsh government over whether the FTSE 100 engineering group Amec is “fit and proper” to be working on the next generation of Britain’s atomic power plants.

The GMB union is enraged that a company that its officials say has not apologised for its alleged role in the construction blacklisting scandal is allowed to work on the £8bn Wylfa nuclear project in North Wales.

Amec was one of dozens of construction firms that used the services of The Consulting Association, which held a secret database of more than 3,000 names who were allegedly troublemakers. Those people say they have found themselves effectively barred from working for those companies, 11 of which were named as co-defendants in a legal action concerning the blacklist brought earlier this year.

Eight of those companies have since set up a compensation scheme available to those who can prove they have a “legitimate claim” to having been blacklisted and seeing their income taken away from them. Amec, which moved its business model away from the construction industry towards the energy market six years ago, has not participated in this scheme.

The GMB, which has initiated one of several separate legal cases against construction groups, believes it is possible that blacklisting occurred on Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) sites on which Amec has had contracts.

As part of the Coalition’s National Infrastructure Plan announced last week, the Government gave a loan guarantee to Hitachi and the Horizon consortium behind Wylfa. It was then confirmed that Amec would be providing technical design and specialist engineering services to Horizon.

The GMB has asked the NDA to put the issue of whether Amec should be allowed to participate on new nuclear projects on its next board agenda. The Welsh government will soon be sent a letter requesting its views on Amec’s involvement in the proposed Wylfa station, which will employ up to 7,000 people during the construction of the reactors and their later operation.

Gary Smith, the GMB’s national secretary for energy, claims: “We know Amec was involved in unlawful blacklisting. We have to ask serious questions on whether there was blacklisting on NDA sites. And we have to ask whether a company involved in this type of activity – and refused to apologise for it – is fit and proper to be working on a state nuclear site.”

A spokesman for Amec said: “Amec does not operate a policy of blacklisting individuals and the senior management of the company would not condone such a policy.

“Amec decided in 2007 that it was not appropriate to use the services of The Consulting Association and stopped doing so well before the Information Commissioner’s investigation into the organisation. Amec exited the construction industry in the same year.

“The Information Commissioner’s Office wrote to us on 22 June 2009 to say that it has decided not to take any enforcement action against Amec.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The Green Recruitment Company: Investment Associate – Energy Infrastructure

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum Discretionary Bonus: The Green Recruitment Company: ...

The Green Recruitment Company: Graduate Energy Analyst

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...

Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Financial Services - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Fin...

Ashdown Group: Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Glasgow

£90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food