Saturday, 12 July 2014

Quick update from the High Court yesterday (July 10th 2014)

OVER 30 lawyers including the superstars of the legal profession, and nearly 50 blacklisted workers and their supporters packed into the snug Court 65 at the Royal Court of Justice to hear the blacklisting High Court claim of Acheson (& others) v Sir Robert McAlpine Limited (& others). There were not enough spaces and the clerk of the court had to bring in additional folding chairs for claimants to sit in the walkways but even then others could not get into the courtroom.
Up until this point every blacklisting case has been individual workers seeking individual redress at an employment tribunal about specific incidences of dismissal or victimisation. Yesterday the lawyers for the claimants - Hugh Tomlison QC (Guney Clark & Ryan solicitors), John Hendy QC (UNITE), Guy Vassall-Adams (GMB), Matthew Nicklin (UCATT) asked the Court to agree a Group Litigation Order (GLO) to allow all of the cases for the blacklisted workers to be heard together against all of the blacklisting companies. The Senior Master Leslie granted the Group Litigation Order. This effectively means that the entire construction industry is now on trial for blacklisting.
Both sides now have to draw up a list of key individuals from which test cases will be heard in full trial. The next court date 1st October 2014 and the full trial should start a few months afterwards. There are numerous legal strands to the High Court including conspiracy, defamation, human rights and breaches of the Data Protection Act. The prospects of industry grandees such as Cullum McAlpine plus ex-undercover and serving police officers being grilled by QCs at the High Court will turn this into a show trial.
Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, lead claimant in the High Court trial and chairman of Blacklist Support Group said:
'Time is running out for the blacklisting multinationals, who over a period of decades have deliberately and systematically set out to ruin our working lives. They may think that because they are rich and powerful that they are above the law. But those of us who have seen our families suffer, were never prepared to let this human rights abuse go unaccounted for. Blacklisted workers have fought for over five years but finally these directors are going to have to face the music. We hope the QCs put them to the sword. It's less than the wretches deserve.'
Message to Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC from the Blacklist Support Group:
'You know where you can poke your four grand compensation - see you in court'

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