Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Blacklist Group asks for wider investigation

BLACKLIST Support Group have called on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation to widen the remit of its investigation into blacklisting and look into the NRB system in the North Sea. NRB stands for Not Required Back is often added to a worker's file by an oil rig manager if the individual has raised concerns about safety issues or attempts to recruit co-workers to the a trade union.
Following the Super Puma tragedy last week, it is widely known that the vast majority of oil rig workers have been unhappy with that particular helicopter for many years but getting anyone to talk publicly has been almost impossible. Both RMT and UNITE unions have criticised the Super Puma and have argued that NRB creates a culture of fear making workers reluctant to make any public criticism for fear that their livelihoods will be ruined.
The Blacklist Support Group which has led the campaign against the Consulting Association blacklist in the construction industry which resulted in the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation and full debates in the Chamber of the a House of Commons has now called for the committee to widen its remit.
It is known that the Consulting Association kept blacklist files on some offshore union activists especially from the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) which is now part of RMT. Professor Charles Woolfson was added to the blacklist for carrying out research into safety in the North Sea after the Piper Alpha disaster. 
Brian Higgins - spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group (and Glaswegian bricklayer) said:
'I suffered years of unemployment because of the Blacklist in the building industry because I stood up for my fellow workers and argued for better safety on sites. It was not just my family who suffered, the fatality figures in the building industry prove that families of many other construction workers also suffered.  NRB in the North Sea is a blacklist - plain and simple.   A blacklist that targets union activists and workers conscientious enough to raise safety concerns.  Whenever workers are worried about losing their jobs if they complain about safety, that is a recipe for a tragedy. The Select Committee has helped to expose the secret blacklist in construction. Now it should shine a light into the same process in the North Sea.'

Blacklist Support Group

The current printed issue of NORTHERN VOICES No.14, is now available for sale - see below. This issue N.V.14 also with an article about Tameside entitled 'Who is in bed with the blacklisters' and an interview with blacklisted electrician George Tapp can still be obtained by writing or contacting the people whose details are below:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques made payable to 'Northern Voices' should be sent c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.

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