Thursday, 28 July 2011

Police turn up at Tameside picket

THIS morning, the picket at Denton Community College on Corporation Road, Denton was visited first by Tameside Council's security police at 8.30 a.m. The Council's security men asked the picket's spokesman, Steve Acheson, to take their banners off the trees as they were on Council property. Mr Acheson then began to quote from the relevant case law and decisions by Lord Denning in the Appeal Court on the right to protest on the highways of England, whereupon the security guards were so taken aback that they withdrew for a conference with their employers.

This picket is part of a national campaign by building workers and electricians against the blacklisting of workers and trade unionists in the construction industry. Carillion, the main contractor on this site, has been accused of being part of a major racket by British building firms to create data bases of workers' names and to enforce them, so they can't find any work. This has been described as an attack on family life.

Later this morning at about 10.30am the Northern Voices' office received further reports of community police being brought to the site to question the pickets. In the end a compromise was worked out and the pickets agreed to put their banners on the company fence instead of the trees which 'belong' to the Council.

Northern Voices rang the site's Construction Manager, Joseph Hammerton, at about 10.45am while the police were still present, but as soon as I said I was from Northern Voices, the phone went dead. When I immediately redialled the number the answer phone was activated, saying that Mr. Joseph Hammerton was not available and asking me to leave a message. I promptly did so, leaving the details of Northern Voices and saying we were doing a story on blacklisting in the British construction industry.

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