Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Crossrail: Parliamentary Blacklisting Investigation

THE parliamentary Select Committee investigating blacklisting of union members has referred the Crossrail project and the construction companies Bam - Ferrovial - Kier (BFK) to the government for further investigation. 
The announcement was made during evidence given by Stephen Ratcliffe, Director of UK Contractors Group to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13648 - quote is at: 14:57:00
Mr. Ratcliffe was described by conservative MP Simon Reevell, a former lawyer, as:
'You are the most evasive and potentially dishonest witness I’ve encountered at this committee and frankly in 20 years of practicing at the bar.'

The Crossrail referral to the government follows the deliberate blacklisting of UNITE shop steward Frank Morris from the largest publicly funded project in Western Europe last September. There has been a volatile dispute between UNITE and BFK / Crossrail to gain reinstatement of Mr. Morris involving a legal claim is currently in the High Court and widespread civil disobedience which has repeatedly seen Oxford Street and Park Lane blockaded during rush hour by protesters. The dispute has sprung up around the world including Holland, Spain, France and Canada.

Gail Cartmail, UNITE Assistant General Secretary gave evidence under oath to the Select Committee last week and specifically named Ron Baron (Head of HR for Crossrail) and Pat Swift (Head of HR for BFK) as being proven blacklisters who were responsible for ongoing blacklisting of union members on Crossrail.

Both David Cameron and Vince Cable have called for evidence of ongoing blacklisting after questions were raised in parliament - the referral by the Select Committee is the biggest sign to date that MPs believe that the practice continues to this day.

The Blacklist Support Group issued the following statement:
'Blacklisting of union members and workers who raise genuine safety concerns is not some historic episode. It is happening today on the biggest building project in the UK.  The building firms have lied about blacklisting for decades. Why should we believe a word they say? Even the MPs carrying out the investigation do not believe them.  Blacklisted workers applaud the work of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee: referring Crossrail to the government sends out a clear message. But until Frank Morris gets his job back on Crossrail, the fight continues. And we will use every means at our disposal to achieve justice. Big business should not be above the law. Only a full Public Inquiry into blacklisting will uncover the true extent of the industrial scale human rights abuse that has taken place against UK citizens.'

Latest video of Crossrail dispute blockade of Oxford Street: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hqyj1lyeLQ&feature=share&list=UUKscOBI2Eo5b_R_UbSd799A

Blacklist Support Group

video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRB9DjmhBHg
blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

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