Thursday, 21 June 2012

Blacklist Update

June Blacklist Update

The Blacklist In Parliament - Blacklist Investigation

Last week the Scottish Affairs Committee heard evidence from Dave Smith over the Construction Blacklist. This week Francis Graham and Stewart Merchant (blacklisted electricians from Dundee) gave their experiences, views and evidence to the committee. The investigation is expected to continue for the next few months. Chaired by Ian Davidson, MP.

Scottish Affairs Committee - Blacklist Investigation - 12th June - Dave Smith

The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee has heard a two hour evidence session from ...
Blacklist Support Group secretary Dave Smith as part of its ongoing investigation into blacklisting in employment.

As part of his 12 June evidence, Mr Smith revealed a number of elected politicians and at least one MSP had files kept of them by the notorious Consulting Association. Mr Smith was able to make the claim after having been granted a Court Order to view the entire unredacted blacklist as part of his Employment Tribunal this year against the construction giant Carillion.

Mr Smith also for the first time “named and shamed” senior managers and directors of construction firms who had personally taken part in the illegal blacklisting conspiracy. He told MPs:
  • Gerry Harvey, director of human resources at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES, formerly Balfour Kilpatrick), attended The Consulting Association meetings on behalf of both companies.
  • Elaine Gallagher, a human resources manager at BBES, was the “main contact” when contacting The Consulting Association.
  • Liz Keates, head of human resources at Carillion Health, was a key Carillion contact person with The Consulting Association.
  • John Edwards, invoiced at Carillion after attending a meeting of The Consulting Association in May 2008.
  • John Bull, head of human resources at Carillion, was the company’s  “Main Contact” with The Consulting Association.
  • Alf Lucas, industrial relations manager with John Mowlem Construction PLC (now Carillion (JM) Ltd), was a contact for The Consulting Association.
  • David Cochrane, head of human resources with Sir Robert MacAlpine, was a contact person for The Consulting Association.
Dave Smith told the select committee all of these names were backed up with documentary evidence including Employment Tribunal judgements, witness statements and invoices from The Consulting Association.

He told MPs the Blacklist Support Group will ask the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate allegations that the police supplied information about them to an industry blacklist.

Scottish Affairs Committee - Blacklist Investigation - 19th June - Francie Graham and Stewart Merchant

MPs today (Tues 19th June) heard the call for managers who blacklisted and ruined the lives of workers to face custodial sentences. The call came from Francis Graham and Stewart Merchant at the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting in employment.
Mr. Graham and Mr. Merchant, both blacklisted electricians from Dundee, gave oral evidence to the Select Committee chaired by Ian Davidson MP about their experiences of blacklisting by the notorious Consulting Association. After many years of repeated unexplained dismissals, unemployment and strains on family life due to the illegal conspiracy by major building contractors, the pair told the committee: "Now is the time for justice".

The evidence covered a wide range of issues including blacklisting of union safety representatives, the offshore industry, major Scottish projects and Scottish firms including Balfour Beatty (whose Director, Gerry Harvey was outed last week at the Select Committee for attending the Consulting Association meetings in Scotland).
The pair also raised the issue of the Joint Industry Board (J.I.B.) the national partnership agreement between unions and employers in the electrical contracting industry and its possible role in the blacklisting of workers.
The pair criticised the current Blacklisting Regulations for having no teeth and called for senior managers and Directors who carried out the blacklisting to be jailed. A Report published in 2011 by the Justice Select Committee chaired by Alan Beith called for custodial sentences for those guilty of the most serious breaches of misuse of personal sensitive information. 
The Select Committee investigation into blacklisting is expected to last 6 months and the evidence sessions involving Directors and senior managers accused of blacklisting are keenly awaited. 

The GMB Union - Blacklist Report

The GMB union Congress in  Brighton has today seen the publication of a new report “BLACKLISTING - illegal corporate bullying endemic, systemic and deep-rooted in Carillion and other companies"

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said: “This GMB report pulls back the curtain of secrecy to give a glimpse as to the way that employers like Carillion have illegally used their power and money to blacklist citizens and to deny them their rights to employment.
The report shows that the level of wrong doing and abuse around this blacklisting is the construction industry’s equivalent of phone hacking by newspapers and is equally serious. For far too long, vested interests have sought to ignore these discriminatory activities of Carillion and others. GMB is going to campaign to expose these activities. GMB will call on politicians to bring social justice to the victims of blacklisting by these companies. Carillion and others should apologise and compensate victims who have fallen foul of their illegal activities.”
The GMB report pulls back the curtain of secrecy to give a glimpse as to the way that employers like Carillion have illegally used their power and money to blacklist citizens and to deny them their rights to employment. The Information Commissioner has confirmed that 224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion
These names, on the files of the blacklisting body The Consulting Association, were released in the course of an Employment Tribunal earlier this year when Carillion was accused of blacklisting a construction worker in London.

The 224 people blacklisted by Carillion were either based in or tried to obtain work in the following areas (with numbers in the area  listed in brackets): 
Barnsley (1),  Birkenhead (2),  Blackburn (5),  Brentwood (1),  Bristol (1),  Caernarfon (2),  Canvey Island in Essex (1),  Chatham in Kent (3),  Cheshire (1),  Chester (1),  Cleator Moor in Cumbria (1),  Clwyd (5),   Croydon (1),  Derby (1),  Dundee (1),  Edinburgh (2),  Ellesmere Port (3),  Essex (1),  Folkestone (1),  Gateshead (1),  Glasgow (1),  Gravesend (1),  Grimsby (1),  Hartlepool (2),  Hillingdon (1),  Irvine (1),  Isle of Man (10),  Kent (58),  Kirkby (1),  Leeds (2),  Liverpool (14),  Livingston (3),  Llandudno (1),  London (39),  Lowestoft (1),  Manchester (13),  Merseyside (5),  Mold (1),  North Wales (1),  Oldham (1), Plymouth (1),  Rayleigh (1),  Romford (2),  Rotherham (4),  Scunthorpe (1),  Sheffield (1), Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire (1),  Stanford-le-Hope in Essex (2),  Sunderland (1), Surrey (1),  Thatcham in Berkshire (1),  Uxbridge (3),  Warrington (1),  West Wickham (1), Wirral (5) and Woodbridge in Suffolk (1). 
Some areas are listed more than once as the addresses on the blacklist are not complete.
Blacklisting by Carillion was not something isolated or rare. The GMB report estimates that in one quarter that 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.
The Blacklist Support Group praise the GMB for producing the report and consider it to be an important contribution in the campaign to fully expose the role of Carillion in the illegal conspiracy. 

Steve Kelly, spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group commented:
"Blacklisted workers welcome this important report by the GMB which shines a light on the dirty tricks that this multi-national used against workers prepared to stand up for their rights or raise concerns about safety in the building industry. Unfortunately Carillion now seems to be bringing these vile anti-union practices into the NHS and other projects publicly funded.
The Blacklist Support Group are proud to have assisted the GMB in the production of this report. We hope that the report will be shared amongst public authorities and in regions where workers have been blacklisted by Carillion, the firm should be removed from any approved contractors list for future publicly funded projects in that area. Labour Councils especially have a role to play in ensuring that their contractors comply with at least basic standards of corporate responsibility; which means not victimising and blacklisting trade union members." 

A recent blacklisting Employment Tribunal judgement in London in March 2012 (Case no 1310709/2009) the judge said “It seems to us that he has suffered a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy

Article in the Observer this week about Blacklsiting

For more information follow the link to the Blacklist Blog in my links section

1 comment:

  1. I was told by an eca member that i was on a blacklist for electrical contracting held by a company called ng bailey in 1970.