Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Blacklist Support Group Update

Blacklist Support Group update 
23rd March 2014

*1. High Court claim*
The original date for the next hearing in the Blacklisting High Court claim has been postponed. It was originally due to take place on 28th April but due to the unexpected retirement of the judge hearing the case, this has now been put back. More details when we get them. BSG urge everyone with a blacklist file to sign up to the High Court claim.

*2. Public Inquiry announced*
The Home Secretary, Theresa May has announced a public inquiry into undercover police

spying on the Lawrence family. Blacklist Support Group is working together with other groups that have been spied on by undercover police, including the Lawrence family, women who policed had sexual relationships with, environmental activists, anti-racists and socialist political groups. The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) is calling for the remit of the public inquiry to be wide enough to cover not just the Lawrence family but all the times when undercover police have spied on perfectly legal democratic campaigns - that includes trade union members and the proven links between the police and blacklisting

*3. European Parliament passes EU wide anti-blacklisting laws*
Europe has passed legislation to make blacklisting of trade unionists illegal across the continent following amendments submitted by Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour leader in the European parliament.

http://www.eurolabour.org.uk/end_to_blacklisting http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/eu-parliament-vote-on-blacklisting

Brian Higgins, who led the Blacklist Support Group delegation to Brussels
in 2012 said:
"A huge democratic blow for workers rights and freedom was struck in the
European Parliament on March 14th when they voted to outlaw blacklisting
and make it a criminal offence Europe wide. Most importantly for
blacklisted building workers in Britain, this will make it incumbent on the
UK Government to bring in a law banning blacklisting once and for all.
We cannot thank Glenis Willmott and Stephen Hughes and all in the LP and Eu
Parliament enough for this truly landmark achievement. It is particularly
satisfying for all building workers and their supporters who have been
fighting for some form of justice since the truly evil Consulting
Association was discovered and exposed by the ICO in 2009. To know the
European Parliament now stands four square alongside us and with us will
ensure the terrible scourge of blacklisting is ended gives us great heart
and massively encourages us to fight on and on! No Peace without Justice
and an end to Blacklisting"

*4. Northern Ireland Assembly and London councils passes anti-blacklisting legislation*
Only a few days after the Select Committee investigation called fro
blacklisting firms to be banned from public contracts, the Northern Ireland
Assembly and more London boroughs have joined the Welsh Assembly, Scottish
government and 30 other local authorities in supporting the ban.

http://www.localgov.co.uk/London-Councils-asked-to-help-banish-blacklisting/35905 http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art/37713/Get+blacklisting+firms+out+of+public+projects,+say+MPs

*5. Crossrail & DLR deaths*
Construction Safety Campaign has protested outside Crossrail at Holborn and
the DLR in Stratford following the recent deaths of two workers.

http://www.demotix.com/news/4248099/silent-vigil-and-protest-held-construction-safety-campaign#media-4248043 http://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/hsw/patrick-finn-dlr-fatality
Follow the Construction safety camapign on facebook:

*5. Blacklist Support Group hold meetings with Liverpool council*
Seven members of the BSG met with Councillor Joe Hanson to discuss
blacklisting companies tendering for work in the city. The meeting is a
follow on from when Mayor Joe Anderson addressed the BSG meeting in
Liverpool 2 weeks ago.
The following actions were agreed:
1. A seat at the table for the BSG at all future meetings regarding all
blacklisting issues with all or any relevant stakeholders.
2. Liverpool Council anti-blacklisting motion to be compared with that
passed by other local authorities to see if can be strengthened

3. Unions to be encouraged work more collectively similar to the Hinckley
Point agreement on any further or pending major contracts in the city

Roy Bentahm, BSG national committee member told the meeting that "BSG would
continue to work positively with all the stakeholders of these issues
though further demonstrations could not be ruled out if progress wasn't
deemed quick enough"

*6. Tony Benn R.I.P.*
The Blacklist Support Group wish to pay tribute to Tony Benn for the
immense contribution he made for working people during his lifetime.
Tony Benn said that he retired from parliament to concentrate on politics.
This Reel News video: shows him on a 6:30am protest in support of
construction workers in their fight to defend their terms & conditions and
for trade union rights during the BESNA dispute. Tony Benn speech starts at
7mins 43 secs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnPTma0Waac

*7. Blacklisted - the book*
Pluto Press will be publishing a book in September about the blacklisting
'Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union activists' by
Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith

Phil Chamberlain is the investigative journalist whose article in the
Guardian in 2008 led to the ICO raid that discovered the Consulting
Association blacklist.
Dave Smith is a blacklisted UCATT safety rep and secretary of the Blacklist
Support Group.

The book is a history of blacklisting in the construction industry over the
past 50 years and includes first hand testimony from blacklisted workers
plus previously unseen documentary evidence.
Follow on Twitter: @blacklistedbook

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