Monday, 24 March 2014

European Parliament passes EU wide anti-blacklisting laws!

We are publishing below the latest briefing from the Blacklist Support Group (BSG).

1. High Court claim
The original date for the next hearing in the Blacklisting High Court claim has been postponed. It was originally due to take place on 28th April but due to the unexpected retirement of the judge hearing the case, this has now been put back. More details when we get them. BSG urge everyone with a blacklist file to sign up to the High Court claim.  

2. Public Inquiry announced 
The Home Secretary, Theresa May has announced a public inquiry into undercover police spying on the Lawrence family. 
Blacklist Support Group is working together with other groups that have been spied on by undercover police, including the Lawrence family, women who policed had sexual relationships with, environmental activists, anti-racists and socialist political groups.  
The Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) is calling for the remit of the public inquiry to be wide enough to cover not just the Lawrence family but all the times when undercover police have spied on perfectly legal democratic campaigns - that includes trade union members and the proven links between the police and blacklisting 

3. European Parliament passes EU wide anti-blacklisting laws
Europe has passed legislation to make blacklisting of trade unionists illegal across the continent following amendments submitted by Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour leader in the European parliament. 

Brian Higgins, who led the Blacklist Support Group delegation to Brussels in 2012 said:
"A huge democratic blow for workers rights and freedom was struck in the European Parliament on March 14th when they voted to outlaw blacklisting and make it a criminal offence Europe wide. Most importantly for blacklisted building workers in Britain, this will make it incumbent on the UK Government to bring in a law banning blacklisting once and for all.
We cannot thank Glenis Willmott and Stephen Hughes and all in the LP and Eu Parliament enough for this truly landmark achievement. It is particularly satisfying for all building workers and their supporters who have been fighting for some form of justice since the truly evil Consulting Association was discovered and exposed by the ICO in 2009. To know the European Parliament now stands four square alongside us and with us will ensure the terrible scourge of blacklisting is ended gives us great heart and massively encourages us to fight on and on! No Peace without Justice and an end to Blacklisting"

4. Northern Ireland Assembly and London councils passes anti-blacklisting legislation
Only a few days after the Select Committee investigation called fro blacklisting firms to be banned from public contracts, the Northern Ireland Assembly and more London boroughs have joined the Welsh Assembly, Scottish government and 30 other local authorities in supporting the ban. 

5. Crossrail & DLR deaths
Construction Safety Campaign has protested outside Crossrail at Holborn and the DLR in Stratford following the recent deaths of two workers. 
Follow the Construction safety camapign on facebook:

5. Blacklist Support Group hold meetings with Liverpool council
Seven members of the BSG met with Councillor Joe Hanson to discuss blacklisting companies tendering for work in the city. The meeting is a follow on from when Mayor Joe Anderson addressed the BSG meeting in Liverpool 2 weeks ago.   
The following actions were agreed:
1. A seat at the table for the BSG at all future meetings regarding all blacklisting issues with all or any relevant stakeholders.
2. Liverpool Council anti-blacklisting motion to be compared with that passed by other local authorities to see if can be strengthened 
3. Unions to be encouraged work more collectively similar to the Hinckley Point agreement on any further or pending major contracts in the city 

Roy Bentahm, BSG national committee member told the meeting that "BSG would continue to work positively with all the stakeholders of these issues though further demonstrations could not be ruled out  if progress wasn't deemed quick enough"

6. Tony Benn R.I.P.
The Blacklist Support Group wish to pay tribute to Tony Benn for the immense contribution he made for working people during his lifetime.
Tony Benn said that he retired from parliament to concentrate on politics.
This Reel News video: shows him on a 6:30am protest in support of construction workers in their fight to defend their terms & conditions and for trade union rights during the BESNA dispute. Tony Benn speech starts at 7mins 43 secs

7. Bob Crow - Funeral arrangements (from RMT)
Bob Crows Funeral is on Monday 24th March. 
The funeral itself will be a family only affair but we are encouraging people to line the route the details are below:


Following the sad news of Brother Bob Crow’s passing on Tuesday 11th March, I am writing to advise you of the funeral arrangements at the request of his family.

The funeral will be a private service, taking place on Monday 24th March at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ. While the family asks that the private service is respected, they do recognize the huge amount of support given to Bob and that staff, friends, members and acquaintances may want the opportunity to say goodbye.

The funeral procession will commence from a visible starting point on Snakes Lane East (IG8 7GF)at 1200 hours and will arrive at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at approximately 12.45 hours. Should you wish to do so, there will be an opportunity to line the route to the Crematorium for the arrival of the cortege, bringing RMT banners and flags for the occasion.

Details of the route are enclosed for your reference along with directions to the Crematorium from Manor Park train station.

However, I do wish to emphasise that the family have arranged a private service in the crematorium and admittance is restricted. I am sure you will support the family by respecting their privacy.

In addition, a minutes silence will be held at 13.30 hours on Monday 24th March for which we ask friends, colleagues and members to observe. RMT Head Office and the Regional Offices will be closed on that day as a mark of respect.

Donations on behalf of Bob may be made to the British Heart Foundation and a dedicated area has been set up by the family on the British Heart Foundation’s website.

Bob Crow 1961 – 2014
Funeral Procession Route to the
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ.

• Snakes Lane East (IG8 7GF)1200 hours
• Right onto Chigwell Road
• Down to Charlie Brown’s roundabout
• Onto Herman Hill
• Follow to Wanstead High Street
• Right at the crossroads of Wanstead Station
• First left to Aldersbrook Road and on to Crematorium
arrive at Crematorium at approximately 1245 hours
Directions to Crematorium from Manor Park Station
• Manor Park Station, (Liverpool Street line)
• Turn left outside station
• Straight down road
• 10 to 15 minutes’ walk to City of London Crematorium (E12 5DQ)
• Bob’s Cortege will arrive from the North at approximately 1245 hours

8. Blacklisted - the book
Pluto Press will be publishing a book in September about the blacklisting scandal.
'Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union activists' by Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith

Phil Chamberlain is the investigative journalist whose article in the Guardian in 2008 led to the ICO raid that discovered the Consulting Association blacklist. 
Dave Smith is a blacklisted UCATT safety rep and secretary of the Blacklist Support Group.

The book is a history of blacklisting in the construction industry over the past 50 years and includes first hand testimony from blacklisted workers plus previously unseen documentary evidence.  
Follow on Twitter: @blacklistedbook 

9. Site Worker
New blog set up for the construction industry rank and file - an online version of the Site Worker magazine 


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