Thursday, 1 September 2011

Blacklisted builder wins round one in his fight against Carrillion!

(From the Blacklist Blog). Last week, Dave Smith (46), a building and construction worker from Goldhanger, Essex, appeared before the Central London Employment Tribunal in a legal case he has brought against the construction company Carillion for 'detriment'. He is one of 3,200 construction workers who were on a secret blacklist operated by the 'Consulting Association' on behalf of 44 construction firms including Carrillion.

Mr. Smith (pictured), who is claiming £175,000 in lost wages, says that he was put on the blacklist because of his trade union safety campaigning. The following report of the Tribunal hearing, has been taken from the 'Blacklist blog' set up by the campaigners.

"Former site worker Dave Smith has won the latest stage of his legal battle against construction multinational Carillion.

Mr Smith told a Central London Employment Tribunal this week he was victimised by the construction giant after becoming a trade union safety rep during the 1990s. Papers submitted to the employment tribunal present evidence that senior managers from Carillion supplied information about Mr Smith to a secret blacklist run by an organisation called the Consulting Association on behalf of 44 major firms in the UK building industry.

The information on his blacklist file, which included over 3,000 workers, was then illegally shared amongst the subscribing firms in order to prevent union activists gaining work on major construction projects.

Carillion argued that the blacklisting claim against them should be struck out by the court because it was out of time as the events happened in 1998-2000 and that it had “no reasonable prospect of success.”

But on 31 August, Employment Judge Pearl found in favour of Mr Smith on both legal issues, with Carillion withdrawing most of their case as the hearing progressed.

Dave Smith is not arguing unfair dismissal or “failure to appoint” but “detriment” as a result of the company placing information his trade union and safety activities about him onto a blacklist file. Being on the blacklist caused him prolonged periods of unemployment before he was finally forced to leave the industry and retrain as a further education teacher.

David Clancy from the Information Commissioner’s Office – who uncovered the blacklist after a raid in 2009 – gave evidence in court and said that the people carrying out the blacklisting were very senior industrial relations or human resources managers, often at director level.

Commenting after the hearing, Mr Smith said: “Carillion have been caught red handed: the evidence against them is damning. Senior managers from the Carillion Group participated in secret and systematic abuse of human rights for decades. But to date, we have not heard a single word of apology.

“Until such time that the multinational blacklisting firms show some kind of corporate responsibility, we will continue to chase them through the courts: all the way to Strasbourg if necessary.”

Dave Smith was represented by counsel David Renton and solicitor Declan Owens from the Free Representation Unit.

The decision means that a Full Merits Employment Tribunal is now set forJanuary 2012."


Anonymous said...

I remember attending the meeting at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester which was addressed by Dave Smith and other members of the Blacklist Support Group. The barrister Nick Tongue, told us that 30 lawyers were representing these blacklisting construction companies. He said that though these companies were claiming that they had nothing to do with Ian Kerr`s 'Consulting Association' based in Droitwich, (Kerr previously worked for the Economic League which provided information to companies about the political activites of British worker`s)they were trying to stop the disclosure of information which would be put before the Employment Tribunal. Nick Tongue stated: "Why are these companies trying to do this if they have nothing to fear?"

We also heard about collusion between certain AMICUS officials and construction companies in blacklisting trade union activists. Mike Anderson`s file has this comment: "Not recommended by AMICUS." Mick Abbott told us that his file had stated that he`d had 7,000 men on strike at a time when he was unemployed and on the dole.

The Swedish construction company Skanska, was found to have handed-over more than £30,000 to the Consulting Association to check on prospective employees. When asked about this, the firm said: "We were vetting people for drink and drugs." What Bollocks!

Best of luck to Mr. Smith and the Blacklist Support Group in exposing these blacklisting bastards. You should also consider suing the British government as well, who for years did fuck all, to stop blacklisting but acquiesced by turning a blind eye.

Maltman Barry said...

It seems according to some sources that MI5 had links with the Economic League. In his 'A history of MI5', Christopher Andrew, (who had access to MI5`s archives), says this on page 672:

"Sir Keith Joseph wanted MI5 to warn employers when subversives applied for jobs in the public sector, when Deverell (John Deverell MI5 officer *) ruled this out. Joseph suggested chanelling warnings to employers through the Economic League, using the "dirty brown envelope technique we had used with Edwards." (Sir Michael Edwards, chairman of british Leyland).

Christopher Andrew says that Maggie Thatcher used the services of MI5 like no other British Prime
Minister to spy on what she called 'industrial wreckers'. She also set up the unit 'Subversion in Public life'(SPL) which was attached to the Cabinet and which recorded the names of people who had joined so-called subversive organisations i.e left-wing parties. This unit was run by John Deverell(*), who was one of a number of British intelligence officers who were killed in a Chinook helicopter when it crashed, in dense fog into a hillside on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994. The helicopter had been travelling from Ireland.