Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Blacklist Update

1.  High Court Claim
The first hearing in the first ever High Court claim for blacklisting as an "unlawful conspiracy" takes place on Friday. The claim is being brought by Guney, Clark & Ryan solicitors (GCR) who have been preparing this case since 2009 on behalf of nearly 100 blacklisted workers and is the legal challenge fully supported by the Blacklist Support Group.
Come along and support the campaign - wear your "BLACKLISTED" T-shirts for the press photos. 
High Court Blacklisting Protest (press photo-opportunity)
9am Friday 29th November 2013
High Court
The Strand
If you are a blacklisted worker and wish to get more info about the GCR High Court claim contact: Liam Dunne ldunne@guneyclarkryan.com
2. Day of Action on Blacklisting - more pix & vids
I think everyone is over the moon about what happened last week. Often, these kind of events are a bit of a damp squib but November 20th saw genuine rank and file civil disobedience protests across the country, lobbies of parliaments in Westminster, Edinburgh and Cardiff.  (An anti-blacklist protest also took place in central Manchester outside Manchester Town Hall called by the Greater Manchester Contracting Branch of Unite, and supported by many local blacklisted electricians, George Tapp, Tameside TUC and other members of Unite and Ucatt).  There were also major announcements about blacklisting from Ed Milliband, Scottish government, the ICO, UCATT and UNITE.
You can support the blacklisting campaign by distributing these videos to your mailing lists and sharing on social media. This really makes a difference.
http://reelnews.co.uk/national-blacklisting-day-of-action-sends-shockwaves-through-the-building-industry/ - great stuff from Reel News: London civil disobedience & House of Commons together. Reel News are massive supporters of BSG and we urge every union branch to take out an annual subscription to keep them going.
3. Public Inquiry
Ed Milliband and Chuka Umunna both pledged an incoming Labour government to hold an inquiry into the blacklisting scandal (see Reel News video above).
Blacklist Support Group, Francess O'Grady and all 3 main unions involved say this is not enough - we demand a fully independent public inquiry to expose the full conspiracy (not some half-hearted thing done by BIS).
4. ICO letter to workers on the blacklist
Five years after seizing the blacklist, the ICO are now finally sending letters to 1200 individuals where they hold addresses and national insurance numbers, something activists and unions have argued for all along. The ICO letter has however been condemned by victims and unions alike as it directs these workers, who in many cases have no idea that there name appears on the Consulting Association database, to the blacklist compensation scheme set up by the very companies who blacklisted them in the first place. The BSG complaint describes this as  'like sending the victims of crime to the criminals to receive justice.' 
The Information Commissioners Office has now suspended sending letters to individuals whose names appear on the Consulting Association database following a complaint by the Blacklist Support Group (BSG). The BSG complaint condemns the actions of the ICO and describes how "From being the champions of blacklisted workers, the ICO is now a barrier in our path to achieve justice". The ICO has now agreed to place details of the Blacklist Support Group on the ICO website and in any future correspondence with those whose names appear on the blacklist. 
Liam Dunne (GCR) said
'We are dismayed that the Information Commissioners Office have sent “fact sheets” directing victims to the Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TWCS), which is run by the very people who blacklisted them in the first place and at this point has not been approved of by any of the stakeholders involved.
5. Blacklisting campaigners win awards: Congratulations to:
Will Hurst from Building magazine - winner of 2 awards in the IBP Press awards for his investigative journalism on the issue of Blacklisting - Will broke a number of the stories that later made the mainstream media especially relating to Crossrail. 
Welsh Assembly - for their strong stand on blacklisting - banning blacklisting firms from public contracts. 
Blacklist Support Group - (YES, THAT'S US) - we won the Robert Tressell Award for services to working people at the Construction Safety Campaign AGM. "The families and partners of blacklisted workers and activists" were also awarded a special Robert Tressell Award for their support. They truly are the wind beneath our wings.

The current printed issue of NORTHERN VOICES No.14, is now available for sale at all our usual outlets in the North of England and beyond - see below. This issue N.V.14 has a Tameside Eye story about how Tameside has a history of involvement in blacklisting, it also contains an interview by Barry Woodling with George Tapp - the Salford electrician injured in May on an anti-blacklist picket. The Voices has been in the forthfront of the campaign against the blacklist since 2003 and the DAF dispute at Manchester Piccadilly, its editor, an electrician, was on the blacklist of the Economic League in the 1960s, and there was an attempt to blacklist him while he was working in Gibraltar in both 1964 and 1967, but at the time this intervention by the Foreign Office was resisted by the Gibraltarian authorities, and the Gibraltar Transport & General Workers Union.
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.
email: northernvoices@hotmail.com

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