Thursday, 28 June 2012

Barclays' Bank Bosses Do It Dodgy, as do others!

BARCLAYS Bank has been fined £290 million for manipulating the Libor (London internet bank offered rate) rate.  On April 18th, 2008, the Financial Times (FT) lead story was 'Builders accused of price fixing' when more than 100 building companies were alleged to have pixed prices and local authorities were demanding refunds for overcharging in rigged bids.  On the 26, June 1937, the National Labor Relations Board in Washington lodged formal charges against Ford Motor Company for three violations under the Wagner Act:
1)  Interference with employees' exercise for collective bargaining.
2)  Domination of the employee organisation known as the Ford Brotherhood.
3)  The discriminating discharge of employees because of activities on behalf of the United Automobile Workers.

 None of these cases will not suprise any active trade unionist connected with the British building trade or the Blacklist Support Group which is right now presenting evidence of blacklisting in this country to various select parliamentary committees.  At the time of the price fixing by construction companies in 2008, Andrew Hill in the F.T. wrote:  'If there wasn't a cartel in the construction industry before, there is now ... Scores of builders are singing the same tune:  "OK, if we did it, either it wasn't illegal, or it didn't harm anybody, and in any case we stopped doing it ages ago.  Oh, and by the way, if you do fine us - go easy".'  

Now were have we heard that before? 

The companies involved in the 2008 price fixing swindling the tax payers included the same bunch as were later to appear affiliated to and funding the illegal data base of the Consulating Association run by Ian Kerr who pleaded guilty at Knutsford Crown Court to managing an unlicenced illegal data base - that some describe as a 'blacklist'.  The companies charged by the Office of Fair Trading included big operators like Balfour Beatty and Carillion.  In the historical case of Ford Motor Company in the US in 1937, the company was accused of being guilty of acts of violence against 14 members of the Committee for Industrial Organisation on May 26, 1937, when Richard Frankensteen, CIO organiser, Walter Reuther, president of the local union, and others were beaten up as they were distributing handbills at the Ford Rouge plant.

Nothing quite so confrontational has been carried out against the trade unionists in this country, but lives have been all but ruined by the blacklist none the less.

No comments: