A man who claimed he was rejected for 59 jobs in 13 years with CalMac because of 'blacklisting' has lost his tribunal fight against the ferry operator.

James McNaughton's case was dismissed even although his CV had been logged: 'James MacNaughton – Blacklist.doc' by managers.

Mr McNaughton was successful in his first application for job but his employment was terminated on the day it started after it emerged that he didn't have the right qualifications.

He applied for another post but the offer was rescinded after the company discovered he had been convicted of an assault around the time he was due to take up the role.

The job involved dealing with the public and according to the employment tribunal papers, CalMac was concerned about any lapses in behaviour towards passengers if "things became tense" and ferries were delayed.

He applied for 58 other jobs and was turned down for all of them.

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The hearing was told that Mr McNaughton, who is from Mallaig, first applied for a job as a watchkeeping engineer in February 2014. 

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He arrived to start work on May 14 but was told that day that he did not have the right qualifications and he was asked to leave the vessel immediately. 

The hearing was told that Mr McNaughton sought the help of his union, Prospect and was given compensation by the firm for the "administrative error".

However, the tribunal was critical that an "experienced seaman" had accepted a job knowing he was not fully qualified for it.

CalMac bosses agreed to keep him in mind for other suitable vacancies.

He applied for a second job as an engineer but was not successful because the post was based in Gourock and applicants were required to live locally.

Emails obtained by Mr McNaughton showed that an HR Assistant brought in to assist with recruitment had written, “our friend is back”.

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He applied for another job as a motorman on the Oban/Lismore small ferry division but was knocked back because he didn't have the right qualifications.

In January 2017 he was offered a job as a seasonal seaman purser in January 2017.

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However, the company then received an anonymous email informing them that he had been convicted, on March 9, of an assault and sentenced to 75 hours of community service.

The claimant told the firm that the "allegations were untrue".

The job involved dealing with the public and the company believed a conviction for an offence involving aggressive and violent behaviour presented a risk in the role, which could become "tense" if for example a ferry was delayed.

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CalMac said it does not have a policy requiring applicants to declare convictions but deals with this on a case-by-case basis.

The hearing was told that Mr McNaughton contacted his MSP, Kate Forbes and she had enquired why the claimant had been rejected for so many jobs.

He made a Subject Access Request (SAR) on March 24 to receive all the documents relating to his applications.

He claimed that because of making use of the services of his trade union he was branded a trouble-maker and blacklisted by the company.

CalMac accepted that a  “James MacNaughton – Blacklist.doc” existed but it was not clear who had labelled the file.

The company's HR Assistants were said to be "naïve" about the meaning of the word “blacklist”.

The tribunal accepted their version that the word had been used to denote "do not employ" because of the claimant's issues with certification and his conviction.

CalMac was said to have "healthy, mutually beneficial" relationships with the four trade unions it recognises including the RMT and Unite.

However the employment tribunal was critical that no one from the ferry operator had explained to Mr McNaughton that whilst he was free to apply for vacancies "they would not consider any application from him for any post."