Caroline Wilson

Senior Reporter

Caroline Wilson is a Senior Reporter at The Herald, specialising in campaigning journalism and stories highlighting injustice, inequality and discrimination. Her work has contributed to persuading the Scottish Government to switch to an opt-out transplant system and is currently leading a Herald campaign to end the so-called ‘dementia tax’. Ms Wilson’s journalism honours include runner-up for Scoop of the Year, Campaign of the Year and Local Campaign of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards. She is also the British Heart Foundation’s Scottish media campaigner of the year for 2013 and a UK finalist in the British Heart Foundation Media Champion Awards in 2019.

Caroline Wilson is a Senior Reporter at The Herald, specialising in campaigning journalism and stories highlighting injustice, inequality and discrimination. Her work has contributed to persuading the Scottish Government to switch to an opt-out transplant system and is currently leading a Herald campaign to end the so-called ‘dementia tax’. Ms Wilson’s journalism honours include runner-up for Scoop of the Year, Campaign of the Year and Local Campaign of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards. She is also the British Heart Foundation’s Scottish media campaigner of the year for 2013 and a UK finalist in the British Heart Foundation Media Champion Awards in 2019.

Latest articles from Caroline Wilson

Exclusive CalMac wins 'blacklisting' fight after man rejected for 60 jobs in 13 years

Exclusive By Caroline Wilson A MAN who claimed he was rejected for 59 jobs in 13 years with Calmac because of union 'blacklisting' has lost his tribunal fight against the ferry operator. His case was dismissed even although his CV had been logged: 'James MacNaughton – Blacklist.doc'. James McNaughton was successful in his first application but his employment was terminated on the day it started because he didn't have the right qualifications. He applied for another job but was turned down because it emerged he had been convicted of assault at a wedding a few years earlier. 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 ferries were delayed. He applied for 58 other jobs and was turned down for all of them. The hearing was told that Mr McNaughton, who is from Mallaig, first applied for a job as a watchkeeping engineer in February 2014. He was advised he had been successful and was given a start day of May 2.  claimant was advised by letter of the 30 April 2014 (R 360) that his start The claimant knew the vessel - the Loch Nevis -  and the routes it sailed because he lives locally and his wife worked on that vessel. He arrived to start work on May 14 but was told that day that he did not have the right qualifications and he was told to leave the vessel. 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. However, 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 the recruitment of seasonal employees had written, “our friend is back”. 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 went for a job as a seasonal seaman purser in January 2017. He was offered this job but the company then received an anonymous email informing them that he had been convicted of an assault on March 9  and sentenced to 75 hours of community service. 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. 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:  RMT, Nautilus, Unite and TSSA. However the tribunal was critical that no one from Calmac 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,"