Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ucatt Defamation Threat Over Blacklist!

BLACKLISTED electrician, Steve Acheson is reported to have received of letter from a firm of solicitors representing the construction trade union Ucatt.  The communication is thought to have claimed that Mr. Acheson uttered defamatory comments regarding a regional officer employed by Ucatt, and, it is claimed, that Acheson had said at a public meeting that this Ucatt trade union official had met with the then chief administrator and boss of the now defunct Consulting Association (an agency that kept blacklisting data), Ian Kerr, and others, sometime in 2009.   Mr Acheson has also recently made allegations in an interview with the BBC about historic links between full-time paid officers in certain British trade unions and the Consulting Association.

There is evidence in the blacklist files that were exposed in a raid of Mr. Kerr's office by the Information Commissioner in 2009, that some British full-time trade union officers were communicating with the Consulting Association and providing useful intelligence about trade union activists in the building trade to Mr. Kerr, who died last year.  But the names of the union bosses concerned were retracted from the documentation.  A recent investigation by Unite the Union, carried out by Gail Cartmail failed to come up with any specific names of union bosses that were collabourating with Mr. Kerr, although whistle-blower, Alan Wainwright, always claimed that there was involvement by some trade union officials.  Mr. Wainwright further claimed that he had tried unsuccessfully to get Derek Simpson, then General Secretary of Amicus, to take this matter up, but that Mr. Simpson had failed to reply to his letters.

Northern Voices believes that Steve Acheson may now have documentary proof of the involvement specific trade union officers in the blacklist in the construction industry.  There is no evidence, so far as we know, that if there were trade union officers providing information to the Consulting Association, that they were paid for their services.

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