Over 600 blacklisted construction workers have moved closer to securing damages that could be worth tens of millions of pounds.

Solicitors from eight construction companies have issued an “unprecedented” apology to the high court for anxiety and stress caused to the workers, according to unions.

The defendants - Vinci, Laing O’Rourke, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Carillion, Kier, Sir Robert McAlpine, and Skanska UK – have admitted breaches of confidence and being part of an organisation that collected defamatory information against the workers.

The list was first discovered in 2009 by the Consulting Association, and contained over 3,200 names. Unions Unite, GMB and Ucatt said the construction firms have apologised to the workers, and payments of up to £250,000 (€339,192) could be made, according to Unite.

The secret file of more than 3,200 workers was uncovered after a raid by the Information Commissioner’s Office on the Consulting Association. The list also contained firefighters and teachers.

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