Big breakthroughs for Blacklist campaign

A founding member of the Blacklist Support Group and union activist reports.

The Blacklist SuBlacklistingpport Group campaign has had great success in recent weeks with loads of coverage in radio, tv and press — including national papers, with more planned.

There was a debate in Parliament organised by Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Chukka Umunna MP. It was discussed at Prime Minister’s Questions. Mr Cameron said blacklisting was not happening at all — we were almost imagining it! Well Mr Cameron, it’s time you opened your eyes. It’s going on alright — right on your doorstep at the Crossrail Project no less! The EIS workers are still locked out.

Enough waffle from you lot. If you are not blacklisting construction workers, then REINSTATE FRANK MORRIS NOW !

At PM’s Questions, Business Secretary Vince Cable asked for proof. Well we have loads. Giant construction company Robert McAlpine were up to their necks in it during the Olympics when they were the main contractor.

Callum McAlpine denied this when he was questioned at the Select Committee. Stop lying and just own up — enough’s enough. McAlpine are guilty, you ruined lives. It’s in black and white on loads of construction workers’ files.

One Unite member’s file: source 3239 Sir. Robert McAlpine Ltd. Applied to 3239 via agency Hays Montrose for Colchester garrison project along with ********** ***** . Main contractor DC given details. Both men were removed from site after first day in December 2007.

In the case of Mr * ***** v Sir Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, paperwork from Thompsons Solicitors and a response from McAlpine: “We accept that we subscribed to the consulting agency from its inception in 1994 until March 2009.” This letter is signed by a McAlpine employee. Again this is in black and white.

John McDonnell MP has played a massive role in this campaign from the very beginning and we thank him enormously. The Blacklist Support Group would not have got off the ground if it wasn’t for John’s role a few years back.

We would like to thank all Labour MPs who have helped with the campaign up to now and special thanks to Labour MPs for organising the Select Committee. Thanks also to Unite the union, GMB and UCATT.

The struggle continues. An independent group of solicitors have taken on a claim for nearly 100 construction workers against McAlpine for misuse of the Data Protection Act. This should have happened in 2009 when the files were first discovered.

For some reason only a few cases were successful with union solicitors’ backing. Most were thrown out for being out of time under the three month rule. Many workers were let down by their unions. Shamefully some workers found on their files information had been provided by their unions to the Consulting Association, which administered the blacklisting. I quote: “Not recommended by Amicus”.

Some UCATT officials have been discovered to have supplied info to the Consulting Association. These union officials are named on unredacted files that some workers now have. Originally all names were blacked out. Quite what happened one will never know.

Justice must be done and workers who are barred from sites must be employed and compensated for the years lost.

One worker said: “I haven’t worked in construction for the last 10 years and I may not for the next 20 — when I retire at 65. My loss of potential earnings is half a million pounds — maybe more. All I ever did was try to improve the lives of my fellow workers and myself and push for better health and safety on sites. Not to cause trouble but to stop us all being killed or seriously injured.”

The Blacklist Support Group AGM: 10:30am – 4pm, Saturday 23rd March 2013, Faraday House, Old Gloucester St, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AE

Their blog is at:

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One Response to Big breakthroughs for Blacklist campaign

  1. Graeme Kemp says:

    Readers of ‘Labour Briefing’ might be interested in the web-site of The Equality Trust. It exposes the negative effects of a divided society. The Equality Trust web-site is at:

    The web-site was influenced by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson’s classic attack on inequality: ‘The Spirit Level’. A remarkable book.

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