Thursday, 13 March 2014

Blacklist Support Group Update - March

Blacklist Support Group update

12th March 2014

1. Mick Abbott R.I.P.

John McDonnell MP on Mick Abbott R.I.P.  "Mick Abbott was a shining example of what trade unionism is all about - solidarity, dedication to the wellbeing of others and a selfless commitment to a just and fair society. Over the years he was a stalwart campaigner who will be greatly missed but his contribution will always be remembered".

Obituary of the blacklisted scaffolder and Shrewsbury campaigner in the Independent

Mick Abbott speaking in support of the Shrewsbury Pickets in 2010 (alongside Bob Crow)

2. Bob Crow R.I.P.
Bow Crow was a genuine working class hero. A socialist who wasn't ashamed of his political beliefs and a towering figure in the trade union movement. The RMT union has gone from strength to strength under his leadership when many other unions are in almost terminal decline. Activists from the RMT were blacklisted by the Consulting Association and Bob Crow turned up on our early morning protests in support of blacklisted workers during the BESNA dispute. Bob Crow was a fighter. He was a warm hearted funny bloke. He will be sorely missed by the entire movement. Our thoughts are with his family.

Bob Crow speaking in support of the Shrewsbury Pickets in 2010 (alongside Mick Abbott)

3. Safety
Mourn the dead - Fight for the living 

A construction worker was killed by falling concrete while working underground on the Crossrail project at Fisher St in Holborn. Another worker, Kevin Campbell, 46 from Poplar was killed on a construction site in the Warton Rd area of Stratford . He was struck by equipment on an excavator. Another 35 year old crane driver suffered serious head injuries when a crane jib collapsed on Balfour Beatty’s 43-storey Providence Tower site in London ’s Docklands.

Peter Farrell, Chair of the Construction Safety Campaign, said: "There must be no return to the killing fields of old on London’s construction sites. We demand urgent action by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) telling all construction employers they will not tolerate any increase in construction worker deaths. There must also be more HSE construction inspectors working pro-actively to prevent any increase in deaths in the construction industry. 

“Construction employers must also stop banning trade union activity on site as they are currently on some major projects in London . They must be reminded of the positive influence of unions as happened on the Olympics site where happily no-one was killed.”

Blacklisted electrician Stewart Hume writes about the true cost of an industrial accident:
4. Public Inquiry into undercover policing
The Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a public inquiry into undercover policing. Her statement to the House of Commons follows the publication of 2 reports earlier this week - one from Mark Ellison QC into the police spying on the Lawrence family and another from Operation Herne (the police) about undercover police in general. The Ellison report condemns the undercover policing, whereas the Herne Report is a complete whitewash and contradicts evidence already in the public domain. 

The Blacklist Support Group has consistently argued that there was active police involvement with blacklisting. The BSG alone have submitted a complaint to the IPCC and we have already had confirmation that senior officers from an undercover police unit actually attended Consulting Association blacklist meetings. Reports in the Guardian have already identified four undercover police officers who spied on individuals who appear on the blacklist. BSG have therefore repeatedly called for a fully independent public inquiry into blacklisting - the police collusion is part of that.

BSG is working alongside the Lawrence family, the women who were deceived into sexual relationships by the police, environmental activists, anti-racists and socialist political groups in the campign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) which was launched last week. All the groups involved in COPS are boycotting Operation Herne.   

As yet there is no confirmed remit for the public inquiry and it is unlikely that it will start this year. BSG are arguing that the public inquiry announced by Theresa May should not just look into the Lawrence case but should be given a wide enough remit to  encompass all the different undercover police units and all the different aspects of undercover policing including blacklisting. 

5. Islington Council take a strong stand on banning blacklisting firms from public contracts

6. High Court and Compensation Scheme update 
The next date for the blacklisting High Court trial due to take place in April has been postponed due to the retirement of the judge hearing the case. Further information will follow when we have the details. 

In the mean time, lawyers for the blacklisting firms are in the process of drawing up a compensation scheme. To date, they have not offered a single penny to anyone. The firms are still insisting that the majority of blacklisted workers would only be entitled to £1000 compensation. The BSG walked out of the first talks because of this insulting offer. BSG are not prepared to sign up to any compensation scheme that does not offer: 

  • jobs to blacklisted workers
  • significant financial compensation to take account of the years of suffering caused by the human rights conspiracy
  • no gagging clause & full disclosure of all documents 
  • every single person on the blacklist to receive compensation
7. Secret video of blacklisting meetings discovered (warning the blacklisting firms use strong language)

Keep The Faith

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