Friday, 24 January 2014

Blacklist Support Group Update

Blacklist Support Group  

Update 24th January 2014


1. Scottish Affairs Select Committee
The Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting is continuing with UCATT, GMB & UNITE giving evidence this week. A second Interim Report is expected to be published in March. Phil Whitehurt of the GMB and Steve Murphy both called for blacklisting to be made a criminal offence with prison sentences. Bernard McAulay attacked Crown House for their continued anti-union attitude.

2. Blacklist Compensation Scheme latest
At present there is no offer by the companies but the blacklisting firms have requested a meeting in February to discuss a possible compensation scheme. The Blacklist Support Group and Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors for the High Court claim will be at the meeting,
alongside UNITE, UCATT and GMB and their legal teams. This is very early stages and there are no concrete proposals as yet.
Any blacklisted worker wishing to join the GCR High Court claim should contact Liam Dunne:

3. Shrewsbury Pickets
The campaign to have the convictions of the Shrewsbury Pickets quashed got a boost on Thursday this week when MPs voted in favour of releasing all the documents currently held by the government relating to the miscarriage of justice. The vote is not binding but will place pressure on the documents that campaigners believe will expose a conspiracy between the police, the government at the highest levels, security services and the building companies. There is a 30 year rule for the release of government documents - the Shrewsbury documents are 41 years old - what have they got to hide? 

4. COPS meeting
Blacklist Support Group is working alongside lawyers other groups and individuals who have been spied on by undercover police including the Lawrence Family, female activists who were sexually abused by the police, environmental and anti-racist campaigners and left wing political groups. All those involved are calling for a fully independent public inquiry to expose the role of undercover police spying on campaigners. The first public meeting will be held on
Thursday 27th February 2014
UNITE the Union HQ 

5. Blacklist Support Group meetings
There have been 2 well attended BSG meetings held in London in November 2013, one in the House of Commons on the TUC Day of Action on 20th November and another on 29th November following the High Court case. 
BSG meeting (Liverpool)
11am Saturday 22nd February 2014
UNITE Offices

6. Alder Hey Hospital
Blacklist Support Group has organised a number of protests outside Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool about ongoing blacklisting by Laing O'Rourke. 
This was raised in the Select Committee by Steve Murphy this week. Photo from the early morning protest attached.  

7. Balfour Beatty
Blacklisting firm Balfour Beatty is currently in dispute with building workers on their Shetland Gas Plant.
“This afternoon at a Unite & GMB mass meeting of engineering construction workers at the Total’s new build Shetland Gas Plant, the union members voted unanimously to reject the offer tabled by the main contractor, Petrofac, concerning the dispute over travel time & shared accommodation in bunk beds. The workforce will now start industrial strike action on the Shetland Gas Plant with a 24 hour stoppage of work starting at midnight Thursday 23rd/ Friday 24th January. Petrofac have also been informed that there will be further strike action in the coming weeks, until an acceptable offer is made to the engineering construction workers on the Shetland Gas Plant.” Note: Companies involved in the dispute are Petrofac, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, Bilfinger Industrial Services (BIS) & Randridge.
Balfour Beatty are also currently involved in a pensions, sick pay, holiday pay dispute known as the 3 COSAS campaign with the support staff at University of London. The workers are on official strike 3 days next week 27th-29th January 2013. 
BSG will be supporting the 3 COSAS campaign especially on Tuesday 28th January.  Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU (nearest tube: Russell Square) 

8. Smith v Carillion EAT judgement - agency workers not protected by UK law 

Scottish Parliament Motion submitted by Neil Findlay MSP
Motion Number: S4M-08824
Lodged By: Neil Findlay
Date Lodged: 22/01/2014
Title: Blacklisting, Smith v Carillion
That the Parliament notes the employment appeal tribunal judgement of Smith v Carillion (JM) Ltd, which, it understands, considered a high profile blacklisting case; recognises that, in her written judgement, Mrs Justice Slade identified human rights violations and expressed concern that the secretary of the Blacklist Support Group, Dave Smith, "suffered an injustice from blacklisting"; understands that the ruling found in favour of Carillion because, as Mr Smith was not directly employed by the construction multinational but instead by an employment agency, he was not protected by employment law, and understands that Mr Smith is now considering how to take his case forward to the next stage.

9. John Flavin ex-President of UCATT has made a submission to the Select Committee and makes accusations about police and union involvement with blacklisting. 

10. Blacklisted Book
Later this year, Pluto Press are publishing a book on blacklisting by Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith. The deadline for the manuscript is very soon. Anyone wishing to provide information useful to the book please get in touch asap.

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