National Blacklisting Day of Action sends shockwaves through the building industry
Glastonbury Festival will be hosting the public premier of the new film “Blacklisting 2013 – the workers strike back”
Venue: Speakers Forum Tent, Green Futures FieldTime: 6:30pm, Thursday 27th June 2013.
Followed by Q&A with the film director Shaun Dey from the Reel News and Dave Smith (Secretary Blacklist Support Group).
The documentary features: Ricky Tomlinson, Len McLuskey, Paul Kenny (GMB), John McDonnell MP, Michael Meacher MP, John Hendy QC, Professor Keith Ewing, Sean Curran (solicitor for High Court legal claim)
Plus interviews with blacklisted construction workers and environmental activists including:Frank Morris (Crossrail), Helen Steele (McLibel – spied on by undercover police), Steve Acheson (Fiddlers Ferry) and dozens of others.
The film covers blacklisting on the Olympics, Crossrail, the Select Committee investigation, High Court legal claims, Local Authorities banning blacklisting firms from public contracts, the role of undercover police and the ongoing campaign of civil disobedience to expose the scandal and win justice.
Any media organisations wishing to review the new film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC2pA1bs0KI
Notes to Editors:
Speakers Forum is a stage where the political debates take place at Glastonbury (it attracts huge crowds) – speakers this year include Tony Benn, Caroline Lucas MP, Michael Eavis.
Blacklist Support Group is the grassroots campaign led by blacklisted workers themselves.
BSG is the organisation taking the High Court claim against Sir Robert McAlpine for conspiracy. It is BSG legal cases that exposed the role of the police. BSG are the organisation that have lodged a complaint to the IPCC and IPT about collusion of undercover police and security services in blacklisting.
Ricky Tomlinson will also be speaking about the Shrewsbury Pickets Justice Campaign and blacklisting at Left Field Stage –
Protest against Carillion Blacklisting
Dave Smith v Carillion
9am Tuesday 30th August 2011
Central London Employment Tribunal
On 30th – 31st August 2011 in the Central London Employment Tribunal, the UK construction industry will stand accused of systematically breaching the human rights of thousands of building workers
Dave Smith v Carillion Plc is a test case on the use of the Human Rights Act in employment law
The key evidence in the case is a 36 page secret blacklist file with information supplied by managers from the Carillion about Dave Smith, an engineer and union health and safety representative from the building industry.
When Dave Smith raised concerns about issues such as a near fatal accident at his workplace, senior managers secretly added his name to a central blacklisting database available to other employers in the industry
The blacklist file includes Dave’s name, address, national insurance number, work history, photographs, his car, union safety representative’s credentials, newspaper cuttings, and details about his family.
The blacklist was compiled by a shady organisation called the Consulting Association and covertly shared among the Directors of 44 of the UK’s largest multi-national construction firms in order to deny employment to trade unionists and workers who raised concerns about safety
The blacklisting scandal was uncovered following a raid by the Information Commissioners Office in 2009 3216 building workers were on the blacklist which was used to unlawfully remove them from major construction projects
Dave Smith says:
“I was a qualified engineer but during one of the biggest building booms the industry has ever experienced, I was on the dole.
Employment agencies stopped ringing me and my kids were on milk tokens. What Carillion and the major building firms did was a deliberate conspiracy against any workers who were prepared to take a stand for basic safety issues”
“A celebrity gets their mobile phone hacked by News International: its front page news, with debates in parliament and criminal charges. 3000 building workers have had their lives ruined by multi-national construction firms – where is our justice?”
Declan Owens of the Free Representation Unit (Mr Smith’s solicitor) stated:
“I was shocked to learn about Mr Smith’s treatment by the major construction companies that subscribed to The Consulting Association and the conspiracy in relation to his blacklisting by them. Mr Smith has led a brave campaign on behalf of his fellow blacklisted victims and set up a support group on their behalf. He is seeking to change the law in the interests of his fellow workers, which is very admirable. I hope that we are able to persuade the Tribunal to give Mr Smith the justice he deserves as well as to secure the protection under the Human Rights Act of other workers from the continued exploitation that they often face within the construction industry”.
Smith v Carillion is the first case where a barrister is using Human Rights legislation to persuade the Tribunal that existing legislation should be interpreted in such a way that it upholds Mr Smith’s human rights, even if this means creating new case law
If Dave wins, it will make it much easier for other workers to bring claims calling for employment laws to be read compatibly with the European Convention.
If Dave loses, the case looks set to end up in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
CB&I must pay blacklisted worker £20k
Contractor is the first to face action in an employment tribunal after last year’s discovery of a blacklist
CB&I has become the first contractor to face action in the wake of last year’s construction trade union blacklist, with an
employment tribunal ordering the firm to pay a union member nearly £20,000 in damages after he was unlawfully refused employment.
On 10 November, Ashford Employment Tribunal ruled that Unite member Phil Willis had been unlawfully refused a job by CB&I because he is a member of a trade union, a prominent activist and blacklisted because of this. He was awarded £18,375 in damages.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) raided The Consulting Association last March and found a list of more than 3,000 workers in the construction industry.
It was discovered that a practice was operating whereby up to 40 firms in the industry were buying information on workers and blacklisting trade unionists.
CB&I was one of 14 firms, including Balfour Beatty, Kier and Shepherd, which were served with enforcement notices following their involvement in the construction blacklist in August.
Following the raid by the ICO in March 2009, the government announced it would introduce legislation to outlaw blacklisting. It became law in April 2010
Tom Hardacre, Unite’s national officer for construction said: “It is the first successful case against a major construction company but it will not be the last.
“The union is currently providing legal support to a number of workers who believe they have been blacklisted. Too many construction workers have suffered victimisation at the hands of unscrupulous employers.
“Unite intends to use the full force of the law to hold firms to account for systematically ruining people’s livelihoods just because a few brave men were prepared to stand up for the rights of their fellow work colleagues.”
Letter from Paul Kenny to every Labour Councillor in the UK
> Dear Colleagues
> I write to ask for your help to get justice for 3,213 victims who were
> blacklisted by construction employers.
> The impact of blacklisting has been devastating for those involved and
> their families. This is still very much a live issue derived from a vile
> history. The victims are still victims who are still suffering.
> This victimisation and blacklisting came to light in 2009 when the
> Information Commissioners Office (ICO) raided a company called the
> Consulting Association and found blacklists with 3,213 names used by 44
> companies. It is still not known how many workers in your area were
> blacklisted as under 200 of those on the blacklist know they are on it
> leaving more than 3,000 unaware.
> GMB has instructed Leigh Day to take legal action in the High Court to
> secure compensation for these workers.
> Carillion’s use of the blacklist is known due to evidence at Employment
> Tribunals and from the Scottish Affairs Committee’s investigation on
> Blacklisting by Carillion was not something isolated or rare. GMB estimates
> that in one quarter Carillion checked 2,776 names with the Consulting
> Association and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates
> that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names. This makes it one of the
> bigger users.
> There is evidence from the ICO that Carillion involvement with the
> Consulting Association blacklist included parts of their organization such
> as Crown House, Schal International, SkyBlue Employment Agency, Tarmac and
> John Mowlem as well as Carillion itself.
> Carrillion managers named at the Scottish Affairs Committee are Frank
> Duggan, group personnel director for Carillion; Kevin Gorman, former human
> resources manager for Carillion’s Crown House division; Liz Keates, a
> current head of human resources at Carillion; Sandy Palmer and Dave Aspinall
> from NCS (Carillion’s in-house employment agency); John Ball, head of human
> resources at Carillion and Brian Tock, a managing director of Crown House.
> John Edwards from Carillion is identified as attending Consulting
> Association meetings in 2008. John Blake a current senior manager for
> Carillion admitted collating information that appeared on a blacklist file
> and sending it to John Ball at Carillion Head Office whilst giving evidence
> during the Smith v Carillion Employment Tribunal in January 2012.
> You can download the GMB report “BLACKLISTING – illegal corporate bullying
> endemic, systemic and deep-rooted in Carillion and other companies” from the
> home page of GMB website at
> http://www.facebook.com/l/iAQFz1Tjt/www.gmb.org.uk> www.gmb.org.uk .
> Carillion Chief Executive Richard Howson has recently publically for the
> first time admitted that the blacklisting of individuals was carried out by
> Carillion or its subsidiaries.
> GMB welcomes this public apology. However the company has yet to apologise
> directly to or compensate any of the people whose lives and families it
> GMB believes Carillion and others should get no new public contracts until
> they compensate the trade unionists and their families.
> A motion on Construction Industry Blacklists was carried at a meeting of
> Knowsley Borough Council on Wednesday 19th September 2012. It states as
> “A number of construction companies have been challenged about supporting
> the existence of and subscribing to construction industry ‘blacklists’,
> which detail covertly gathered information on construction trade unionism,
> militant tendencies, poor timekeeping, trouble making, etc. Blacklisting is
> an unacceptable practice and cannot be condoned. The GMB union is leading a
> national campaign aimed at forcing those who have been involved in
> blacklisting to apologise to those who have been affected by it.-
> It is understood that the construction industry blacklist was collated by
> the Consulting Association (a private consultancy) and was then provided at
> a cost to construction companies as they sought to recruit/avoid new
> workers. The Information Commissioner has investigated and taken action
> against the Consulting Association for this practice. Furthermore, the
> Information Commissioner has taken enforcement action against a number of
> construction companies based on the evidence recovered from the Consulting
> Owing to the concentration of construction activity in and around large
> cities, many of those alleged to have been discriminated against live in the
> country’s major cities, and undoubtedly this practice has disadvantaged
> residents of Knowsley.
> Given the potential impact on residents of this Borough, the Council
> resolves to support the GMB campaign.”
> GMB would be grateful if you could raise this subject for discussion and
> consider putting a motion similar to the one carried at Knowsley to the
> council you serve on.
> Should you choose to bring this issue to your council please can you let me
> know on the email address below or come back to me with any queries or
> further information you think may be relevant to this matter.
> Yours fraternally
> PAUL KENNY
> GENERAL SECRETARY
Steve Acheson – fighting for his rights
This film shares first hand experience from 12 blacklisted workers
(including Ricky Tomlinson) about their fight for justice.
Music: “Hostage” – Alabama 3.