Monday, 3 December 2012

Shami Chakrabarti – raises blacklisting issue on BBC TV

'Phone hacking wasn’t the only privacy or information scandal of recent years and it’s very sad that the construction worker blacklist scandal has really not attracted the same attention.  One of the big things about phone hacking was that a private investigator was storing up all this personal information, people’s phone numbers and so on and that was used for phone hacking. Something similar happened with the Consulting Association that was storing up the names of people on a blacklist. They were blacklisted because they were trade unionists or they were raising concerns about health and safety; but health and safety on a building site is potentially a life and death matter. There were people whose lives were ruined; they found they couldn’t work in the construction industry for years and years and years.
'Interestingly, going back to Leveson, one of the things that hasn’t been touched on in all the coverage, is that Leveson is really concerned that the current Information Commissioner’s Office really didn’t do everything it could have done about phone hacking…. That would apply to this hideous blacklist that has been kept about construction workers.

'Now it seems, The Observer tells us that this has affected the Crossrail project and people have been blacklisted and not able to work on that.' 

Blacklist Support Group statement on Crossrail:

'It is a disgrace that public funds are being spent on blacklisting trade unionists on the Crossrail project. 
Workers have been dismissed from the largest construction project in Europe for raising safety concerns about high voltage cables and for joining the UNITE union. For nearly 3 months there have been daily protests about blacklisting on Crossrail and the firms involved have constantly denied that it is taking place.
On Tuesday Ian Kerr, chief officer of the Consulting Association blacklisting organisation told MPs that his members had talked at length about Crossrail during meetings to discuss the list: "An awful lot of discussion took place at Consulting Association meetings about the Crossrail project.'

In addition Ron Barron, the most senior industrial relations officer on the entire Crossrail project has lost his job last week after investigative journalists discovered that he was a proven blacklister having cross-checked job applicants against the secret blacklist of workers to be barred from the industry, a list that he helped to compile. An employment tribunal found that he introduced the use of the blacklist at his former employer, the construction firm CB&I, and referred to it more than 900 times in 2007 alone. 
The evidence of blacklisting on Crossrail is damning and overwhelming - none of the blacklisting firms are now even attempting to deny that these discussions took place.

This is a major systematic breach of human rights by big business subsidised by tax-payers money - when are they going to come clean?

Crossrail and the construction firms on Crossrail should make a public apology, pay compensation and reinstate all the UNITE members who have lost their jobs on the project. A union recognition agreement on the project is required as a matter of urgency for the public to have any trust in these people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. ?. Yes. ?. But I am talking about the hype here in this article, not what Crossrail are alleged to have done! I work on Crossrail and it is an amazing project. Don't listen to all the haters.