Friday, 31 October 2014

Karen Danczuk told to 'Pack it in'!

In a comment on the post below entitled 'Karen's Full Frontal Feminism Derided', Miriam asked to see the copy 'of Hon Alderman Eileen Kershaw's full letter' in last Saturday's Rochdale Observer:

Dear Editor,

'SO, you want to know what other women feel about Karen Danczuk's behaviour, particularly in view of the fact that she has sought office in the town as an elected representative on the borough council, a position which has always commanded and generally earned respect from the electorate, those people who voted for someone they thought had thorough decent values and motives whose main objective was to unfailingly serve, represent and respect the needs of the ordinary citizen... 

'They were to be the leaders of the community, impeccable in their conduct and an example to all at times in the way they behaved.

'They were judged to be a “cut above the rest” because of their commitment to serving the town and its people for very little reward except earning the title of “councilor”, which once upon a time carried a great deal of weight and prestige. 

'Not any more it seems. 

'Do and sat what you like under your civic cloak.  Make a mockery of the values that the early pioneers of social endeavour and justice stood for. 

'I think of the wonderful socialist women who taught me the values of loyalty and hard work in the early sixties. 

'Women who turned up religously night after night to work and encourage yound people like myself, then in my twenties, who they belived had an inherent right to discuss and make decisions alongside their male colleagues, who were in those days so much a majority in the council chamber. 

'They campaigned for nursery education, better working conditions in the mills and workshops, equal pay and equal rights for all, good quality housing, particularly after the war and the right for all to have a vote. 

'I've stood on the market with them in, on one occasion, 3-foot of snow collecting signatures for more nursery provision in order that working mums may go out to work with peace of mind. 

'They were proud, thoroughly  respectable working women who sought no personal reward.   They simply worked solidly for the community without feeling the need to expose their anatomy or demean themselves for any reason or in anyway. 

'They were always smart, some of them very attractive, without it detracting from their behaviour, which was always refined, genteel and articulate. 

'They were generally  assertive, sometimes bossy and occasionally hard to please... 

'Manners were impeccable.  There was a strict code of dress and behaviour when canvassing. 

'Having been brought up the hard way by women of this calibre is it any wonder that I'm known to be a tyrant with regard to to dealing properly with Joe Public. 

'It's got me through 50 years  of public service,and to thank for it I have people people who are now only memories, like Annie Taylor, Bertha Radcliffe, Clara Gordon, May Kaufman, Alice Cholton, Florence Allcroft and Evelyn Thorton. 

'They must now be turning in their graves at the antics of Karen Danczu. 

'Pack it in, Karen.  She is a disgrace and a permanent insult to all those intelligent women, industrious women who may be long gone but also who will never be forgotten. 

'This town can then get back to its orgins of respectability and pioneering work for the sake of all who really care. 

'Just don't stand for election again.  The people deserve better.' 

Hon. Alderman Eileen Kershaw.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Petitions & Bury MBC

WHEN the man organising a petition against Bury Council's decision to cut the collection of grey waste from every two weeks to every three weeks failed to turn up at the last full Council meeting to present his petition of over 3,000 names, it created a bit of a dilemma for the authorities.  In the light of the non-attendance of the organiser of the petition it was decided, apparently by the monitoring officer and the Chief Executive, that the proper course would be to proceed to the next item on the agenda.

This approach was questioned at the time by the opposition Conservative group, and following an application under the Freedom of Information Act by Bury Unite Commercial trade union branch, it seems that at present there is no specific advice as to what to do in the circumstances where the person who ought to present the petition doesn't turn up on the night of the full council meeting.

Bury Unite trade union asked:
'At the full Council meeting of Bury MBC on Wednesday 10th, September 2014 in the 'Council Summons & Agenda' document Book 2 at Item 5. of the Council Meeting Agenda entitled 'Petition' it was determined that as a petition had been received that fulfilled the criteria required that it ought to be'debated at Council'. But as the organiser of the petition was not present at the council meeting no debate was held because the solicitor acting for Bury MBC had advised that no debate should be held if the petition organiser was not present. I on behalf of Bury Unite Commercial Branch should like to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the Council to provide my branch with the precise wording of the advice given to the Bury MBC leader of the Council?'

It seems that the advice from the Chief Executive and the monitoring officer was verbal and not in writing, and therefore not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.  However, it seems that the decision to proceed to the next item has cause some debate and a working group will be meeting to discuss the problem next week.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Bins in Bury!

CONCERNED residents say controversial changes to waste collections are encouraging neighbours to fill their bins with the wrong rubbish.   Karen Unsworth said she is furious that rubbish has been left strewn near her Bury home after someone stuffed her recycling bin with two bags full of household waste.    The bags were left behind when binmen collected her rubbish and have now been left in unsightly piles in the alley behind the house in Chesham Crescent, Freetown.  

But Miss Unsworth, aged 53, said a council initiative to collect non-recyclable household waste every three weeks, which kicked in earlier this month, means this sort of neighbourly behaviour will become 'inevitable'.   

She said:  'I do my recycling and leave the correct bins out at the right time.  I cannot live like this, with rubbish everywhere, and I should not have to.  Already the smell is horrendous as the rubbish is spread all over – it is absolutely disgusting. ' 
Miss Unsworth, a Debenhams store worker, said she has also noticed more large rubbish items including bags of nappies, bricks and white goods are being fly-tipped on the land behind her home.
 She added: 'The new collections have only been in place a matter of weeks and already there is more fly-tipping than ever.'
A Bury Council spokesman said the authority had no evidence to suggest non-recyclables being put into recycling bins had become a particular problem.   
Mike Owen, executive director of resources and regulation at Bury Council, said:
'If any resident does identify contamination of their bin by a neighbour, or anyone else, they should report it to the council and it will be investigated discreetly by a waste management officer. Confidentiality will always be respected.   To reduce the risk of this happening  residents need to be vigilant.  If possible do not put your bins out for collection until as close as possible to 7am on the scheduled day of collection and retrieve them as soon as possible after they have been emptied.   Residents should also number all bins, to make it clear to which address they belong.' 
(First reported in Bury Times:

Zara in the USA

USA: Zara must respect workers' rights

#ChangeZaraInditex is a transnational corporation that wants to be seen as socially responsible.

For example, it signed a global agreement with UNI Global Union committing it to respecting the rights of its workers worldwide. And to be fair, in many countries, workers in Zara and other Inditex brands enjoy rights consistent with the obligations laid down in the global agreement.

But not in the USA.

There, Inditex refuses to give practical effect to its Global Agreement. In the USA, Inditex and Zara workers do not have the same rights of consultation and negotiation as they do in other countries. In the USA, Inditex does not permit workers to freely choose to join a trade union.

Please take a moment to tell Inditex that you expect them to live up to their obligations, and to respect workers' rights everywhere. Click here:

And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

Thank you!

Latest from Bristol Radical History

THE following couple of weeks sees several more interesting events in the Remembering The Real WW1 Autumn Programme. Full details of the programme are here
Wednesday 29th October - the Campaign Against the Arms Trade's Arming All Sides project presents 'World War One: Arming All Sides'. Full details here

Thursday 30th October – explore Bristol's cultural links to WW1 through the eyes and short films of asylum seekers and refugees in 'Echoes of the ‘Great War’: Imperialism, displacement and migration'. Full details here.

Sunday 2nd November – delegates to the international History From Below Network conference will present 'Hidden histories of World War One' a series of short presentations on resistance to the 'Great War'. Also Gee Vaucher of CRASS will be discussing her influentail anti-war art which will be on display. Full details here

Tuesday 4th November - hear Sheila Rowbotham talk about Alice Wheeldon who was framed and imprisoned for opposing the war and June Hannam talk about Bristol women who campaigned against the war in 'Women Resisting the Great War'. Full details here

Wednesday 5th November – come down to the Central Reference Library for 'Opening the Archives: Resistance to World War One in Bristol'. See primary sources relating to resistance and reaction during World War One. Full details here.
For more information email
And finally, tomorrow night, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Tuesday 28th October, author of the BRHG pamphlet 'Race War', Neil Wynn will be presenting 'Black GI’s in Britain', taking a look at the wartime experience of US soldiers in Bristol and the West Country during WW2. Full details here
Hope you can make it to some of these events,

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Boycott Workfare: Week of Action gets Results!

We are publishing below a recent briefing from Boycott Workfare:
"So, what did last week show us? When you take action, you get results. 
Scope, Barnardos and British Heart Foundation have cancelled their involvement with CWP 6-month workfare. Traid pulled out too when an action was called outside its store in Wood Green. That’s four national charities who were forced to respond following pressure from you.
With over 17 actions in the UK and beyond, and hundreds of people taking action online, we stepped up pressure on workfare which is unpopular and vulnerable.
In Edinburgh, compulsory courses at workfare provider Learndirect were cancelled when 60 people blockaded its office. In London, provider Urban Futures faced an occupation at the same time, exposing managers’ nasty attitudes towards claimants. In Brighton, people invaded provider Avanta and handed out leaflets.
Actions took place at job centres, which were rebranded “sanctions centres” instead. This report from the demo in Peckham shows why: “They appear to be sanctioning people at the rate of between 30 and 45 people per day. Some people have received sanctions of 10 months for a ‘first offence’! They seem to be ignoring the official guidelines about sanctions periods entirely and making up as they go along. We also heard about a 6 month pregnant woman with child who was sanctioned for two months for being one minute late.”

The Trades Union Congress was bombarded with tweets and emails, while claimants from Kilburn demonstrated, asking the TUC how it can march for a “pay rise” while actively supporting “no-pay” Traineeships for young people and sanctions.With the government set on extending workfare and sanctions to the working poor next, the huge level of support in the week of action shows that the public are with us. In Sheffield “shoppers were, without exception, sympathetic” to the picket outside workfare exploiter Savers. “Some people had experienced workfare schemes themselves and were pleased that we were making the issue a public one.” People know that workfare means increased poverty via sanctions, and replaces paid work.
In the Netherlands, the anti-workfare campaign Doorbraak also took part in the week of action, pushing the mayor of Amsterdam to pledge to end to workfare next year. Austrian unemployed group “Aktion Arbeitslose” helped build support as well.
By holding those who profit from workfare to account and having a massive impact – at a time when permanent austerity and social injustice are the policy order of the day – your actions bring hope. We show each other that we are not alone. People’s actions in New York have brought workfare to an end in the city where it began. Whilst claimants have been abandoned by the Coalition Government, Labour and sadly even the TUC – they have not been abandoned by you. So let’s keep the pressure up! "
A massive thank you to everyone who took part in any way in the week of action. If your action isn’t mentioned here, but you’d like it to be, please email 

Police pay compensation to victims of undercover policing operations!

We are publishing below a recent briefing from the Blacklist Support Group:

"1. Recent press coverage from High Court etc....

2. Crocodile Tears Tour 
The GMB union are targeting the senior managers named in parliament as the "main contacts" at the blacklisting companies. This is a tour around every part of the UK - please check to see when they visit your area. Everyone is welcome to attend - bring your banners and t-shirts - Any blacklisted workers in attendance can virtually guarantee to make the local media. 

This week (all protests start at 11am) :

Tues 28th October 
Paul McCreath, 
HR Director, 
Kier Group: 
Tempsford Hall, 
SG19 2BD
Tues 28th October 
Kathy Almansoor, 
Group Employee Relations Manager, 
Kier Group: 
Tempsford Hall, 
Glasgow 29th October 
Gerry Harvey, 
HR Development Director at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services: 
Lumina Building, 
40 Ainslie Road, 
Hillngton Park, 
Aberdeen 30th October 
Kevin Gorman, 
Vice President HR, 
Harland Group: 
Ocean Spirit House, 
33 Waterloo Quay, 
Aberdeen AB11 5BS.

Dundee City Council 
5:30pm Monday 27th October 
Demo is against the decision taken to make blacklisting firm BAM the preferred bidder for the V&A project. This campaign has been led by Francie Graham and Stuert Merchant, 2 retired blacklisted electricians from Dundee. 
4. 'Boys on the Blacklist' pamphlet out now
Many workers complained and campaigned against blacklisting for decades but it was the dispute at Manchester Royal Infirmary that finally lifted the lid on the Consulting Association. A new pamphlet by Tameside TUC tells the story of how the blacklist was uncovered.    

5. Construction national rank & file meeting
1-4pm 15th November 2014
Newcastle Labour Club

6. Police finally admit and compensate for undercover spying on activists

Events about undercover police spying on activists: 

7. North Sea safety 
After all the pleas and hand wringing about helicopter safety in the North Sea - the powers that be decide there is no need for a public inquiry. 

8. Umbrella companies exposed by Daily Mirror 

9. Theatre
United We Stand - play about the Shrewsbury Pickets on tour now:
Mark Thomas award winning show Cuckooed about corporate spying on tour now: 

Spread the word and keep the faith 

'Smile As You Go' with Simon Danczuk

Dust-up at Danczuk's Deli!

IT was not quite a performance akin to our Gracie and 'Sing as you Go', but last Friday night's book reading at Danczuk's Deli in Rochdale was something of a treat. The event, part of the Rochdale Festival of Literature and Ideas, was a book reading of excerpts from the forthcoming paperback
version of 'Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith' by Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker which we were told will be out next March. Matthew solemnly did the readings, and Simon followed up with 'there is much more to come out!' about Cyril Smith and child abuse.

We were told by Simon that it was difficult for people who had suffered thus to share their experiences: that they had spoken to a middle-aged man in London who said he had been abused as a young boy when Cyril took him to the National Liberal Club, and that the lad later 'went off the
rails'; of a former prisoner at Buckley Hall (young offender's prison) who had been abused by Cyril; and a boy from Knowl View who had also been similarly abused. We were told that the consequences of this was far reaching for the victims or survivors as Simon insisted on calling

People at the book reading quite naturally asked 'Was there a cover-up?'.
Simon said: 'People were colluding to see that no light was shone upon it [and there is much more to come out!'. Though as we shall see later Simon is equally eager to make sure that no one shines a light on just how reliable his version of Cyril's activities really is.  Simon then said: 'The good news is that both front benches (Labour and Conservative) are now in favour of the mandatory reporting of child abuse (by people in responsible positions in relation to children).' and that 'the Chair of the (over-arching inquiry into historic child abuse) must have credibility now that we have got rid out Butler-Sloss.'

(Two days later in the Mail of Sunday, Simon Danczuk wrote a piece entitled '...she must stand aside', in which he argued that Fiona Woolf the new chair should resign from the Government's child abuse enquiry.)

Someone asked: 'Are you saying the police protected Cyril or the Party?'

We were told: 'It was not the front-line police (like Tasker) but some (higher up?) were frightened because Cyril had a big mouth' and he may have implicated others in the establishment who were behaving inappropriately. Hence, we were left to believe that there was a network people in power who went out of their way to protect Cyril.

Simon Danczuk may be right but the jury is still out of these matters, and any resolution is in the long grass and we won't have any real answers before the General Election in May next year. Alternatively it may all be an overactive imagination at work.

Another questioner pointed out that 'Cyril was a Big Fish' in Rochdale.

When I suggested that 'Cyril was a Big Fish in the Labour Party at the time he was abusing teenage boys at Cambridge House in the early 1960s', both Matthew Baker and Simon Danczuk disputed this arguing that he was a big fish on the Council but not in the Labour Party.

When I asked: 'As this is a Literature Festival what literary tradition did their book "Smile for the Camera" fit into because I found it hard to grasp the  research methodology used by the authors'- such as "how many victims were interviewed?; were tape-recordings taken?; were any transcripts kept?'

Simon Danczuk told me that he wouldn't answer these simple methodological questions despite being asked on several occasions in the past. No light to be shone here it seems!

Shortly afterwards I was shoved out of the door of Danczuk's Deli. 

Monday, 27 October 2014


Rank and file union reps and members of the Public and Commercial Services Union have sent an open letter to General Secretary Mark Serwotka demanding greater support for reps and members in employment tribunals.

The letter, published online here, was initially motivated by the case of John Pearson. John was a PCS rep at Hewlett-Packard, who was sacked as a result of his trade union activities during a dispute over job cuts.
John was forced to pay the Employment Tribunal fees and engage a private solicitor to fight his automatically unfair dismissal claim, after union officials refused to support him, asserting that his claim had ‘no reasonable prospect of success’. The tribunal vindicated John and his supporters by finding that he had been unfairly dismissed and that the principal reason was his activities as part of an independent trade union.

Following on from the verdict, the open letter to Mark Serwotka demands: “Full support for John from PCS as he pursues reinstatement following his ET verdict, and full recompense for the legal costs he has paid at his own expense” as well as “A written guarantee that reps and activists victimised by their employer will receive full and unwavering support when fighting that victimisation, by all available means including ET, as a point of principle.”

Friday, 24 October 2014

Karen's Full Frontal Feminism Derided

KAREN Danczuk's brave proclamation of full-frontal feminism, has now been challenged by the old-fashioned Socialist from Whitworth, the Hon. Alderman Eileen Kershaw.  Hon. Alderman Kershaw has written a letter in tomorrow's Rochdale Observer entitled 'Karen is insult to great socialist women':
'So you want to know what other women feel about Karen Danczuk's behaviour, particularly in view of the fact that she has sought office in the town (Rochdale) as an elected representative on the borough council, a position which has always commanded and generally earned respect from the electorate, those people who voted for someone they thought had thorough decent values and motives whose main objective was to unfailingly serve, represent and respect the needs of the ordinary citizen of the borough.'   
Alderman Kershaw writes that socialist women in the past 'were assertive, sometimes bossy and occasionally hard to please...' but '[t]here was always a strict code of dress and behaviour...'.    She then writes:  'They must be now turning in their graves at the antics of Karen Danczuk.'   The Alderman then lists some of her local heroines - 'Annie Taylor, Bertha Radcliffe, Clara Gordon, May Kaufman Alice Chorlton, Florence Allcroft and Evelyn Thornton.'   
So speaks Hon, Alderman Eileen Kershaw, who describes herself as 'a tyrant', commenting on Labour Councillor Karen Danczuk's full frontal feminism in presenting her deep cleavage in photos on the Internet.    
The good Alderman goes further arguing:
'Pack it in Karen. She is a disgrace and a permanent insult to all those intelligent women who may be long gone but also who will never be forgotten' and advising Karen 'don't ever stand for election again.'   
And yet, if we go back before the straight-laced worthy women-folk mentioned above, there was an aristocratic brand of women in the romantic movement that are now seen as forerunners to the modern feminists that had more of a free spirit like Karen. One only has to think of an earlier generation feminists: the likes of Mary Shelly and the poet Shelly and Byron, and the pre-Raphaelite women. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Barcelona: Making Everywhere the Same!

Threat to our culture from globalisation 

LAST July, residents of La Barceloneta, a seaside area of Barcelona, held street protests to object about the noisy tourists hanging around, and putting-up in overcrowded and unlicensed rented appartments.  This is port suburb of the city, where when I first visited in early 1963 it had a shanty encampment of migrant workers on the beach, and I wrote an article for the FIJL (young libertarian/ anarchist) publication 'Nueva Senda' entitled 'Where the tourist never go!'.  But since 1992, when this port area was tarted-up and overhauled for the Summer Olympic Games, this area has become more fashionable and tourist friendly. 

Barcelona had a record 7.5 million visitors last year, compared with about 1.5 million visitors before 1992.  More recently with the slow removal of rent controls Barcelona has suffered from a gradual gentrification with traditional shops being priced out by multi-national stores in the older parts of the city, and this is now destroying the character of the old historic town and provoking a questioning of what's going on.  Next May, Barcelona is down to hold municipal elections, and these issues are now on the political  agenda.  
Ada Colau, who is expected to run for Mayor of Barcelona as the candidate of of a leftist civic platform, has said she and her family stopped going to the Gothic Quarter because it was overwhelmed by foreign tourists and global brands.  She has said:  'The main attaction of Barcelona is a certain way of living, but we are allowing this to be replaced by what I would call a fast-food model.' 

In 2005, Tameside Trade Union Council invited the Catalan town planner Edward Masjuan, who was then associated with the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist CGT (General Confederation of Labour), to Manchester, and he spoke alongside the blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson at the Friend's Meeting House.  Mr. Masjuan then told us of the difficulties the city of Barcelona was facing, including the planning failures that had forced many of the traditional residents of the city out of the centre and areas like Barceloneta.  This had led to many having to live on the outskirts of the city and created social problems.  Masjuan also said that at that time political corruption was a serious concern in the city.  

Now with many traditional shops having to close down because of the higher rents being asked many jobs are being lost and it seems that the multi-national stores are winning the battle for business.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Managers like Liz Keates shedding crocodile tears now for her part in blacklisting 3,213 workers won't wash, neither will the Nuremberg Defence of "just following superior orders” says GMB
GMB will hold a protest demonstration in Wolverhampton on Thursday 23rd October to shame Liz Keates, Head of Employee Relations at Carillion plc named who was in Parliament as a blacklister. She has yet to come clean and apologise for the hurt and damage she did blacklisting 139 workers. See some examples below.
Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database, run by Ian Kerr, of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists.
This is the third date in a national “Crocodile Tears” protest tour to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions. See notes to editors 1 for the 10 dates in the first leg of a national tour and notes to editors 2 for the list the 63 managers and where they worked.
The details of the protest are as follows:

At 11am Thursday 23rd October,
Outside Carillion,
Birch Street
Wolverhampton, WV1 4HY
At the protest there will be a person in a crocodile suit accompanied by union members with flags and banners and slogans “Nuremberg defence on blacklisting won’t wash” and “Blacklisters come clean”.
GMB representatives from Carillion at Swindon PFI Hospital will be there. 51 GMB members are pursuing claims at an ET to hold Carillion to account for race discrimination, bullying and harassment and victimisation that Liz Keates failed to deal with at the hospital after 21 days of strike action in 2012. GMB members work as porters and housekeepers in catering and cleaning and other support roles. GMB members demanded that Carillion management act to stop the culture of bullying on the contract and for an end to discrimination in the application of pay and conditions on the contract.
Liz Keates (LK), Head of Employee Relations at Carillion plc was named by Ian Kerr as the main contact for Carillion / Crown House Engineering and Tarmac. She joined Crown House Engineering, which was part of Tarmac, in 1998.
The initials LK appear 92 times against 75 different individuals in the blacklist files while working for the company 3271/81, the code used for Crown House Engineering, Carillion and Tarmac. 64 separate workers have been refused work after Liz Keates checked their records with The Consulting Association. 11 of these were refused work twice and 2 workers refused work three times.
Carillion, and associated companies, have been described by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd as ‘heavy users of the Consulting Association in terms of the amount of information provided by the Carillion Third Parties on workers. Further, the number of occasions on which the Carillion Third Parties are recorded as refusing employment to workers is particularly high compared to other members of the Consulting Association.’
These are some examples:

    · An electrician from Edinburgh blacklisted in 1977 applied to 3271/81 in March 2003, 26 years later and was not employed by LK.· An electrician from Dundee, blacklisted in November 1976 applied to work for 3271/81 26 years later in September 2002. LK given details and was not employed.
    · A pipefitter from Suffolk blacklisted in 1978 for being an alleged ‘strike leader’ in 1998 applied to 3271/81 and was not employed. He applied again in 2000, LK given details and not employed.
    · An electrician from Liverpool put on the blacklist by Costain in 1993 applied to work for 3271/81 in 2000, in 2003 and 2005. LK blacklisted him 3 times.
    · An electrician from Warrington was put on the blacklist by Haden Young with the comments ‘would not re-employ – assistant shop steward” applied to 3271/81 in 2003, LK given details and not employed.
    · An electrician from Essex was put on the blacklist in 1977.’ Applied to 3271/81 26 years later in 2003, LK given details and not employed.
    · Same contact, same outcome for a Glaswegian plumber blacklisted in 1978 when applying to 3271/81 for a job in October 2000, 22 years later.
    · One electrician from Tooting applied to 3271/81 on 4 occasions in 2000, 2002 and 2003. Refused work all four times, three of those times by LK.
    · A pipefitter from Essex was put on to the blacklist in 1980 because he was spoken to by a journalist from the Morning Star and their replies formed a feature article in the paper. Because of this he was not employed by LK in 2002 when he applied to work for 3271/81.
    · An electrician from London blacklisted by Morgan Est on the Jubilee Line’ in 1998 was refused work by LK and 3271/81 at their Norfolk & Norwich Hospital site. Another electrician from Gateshead was also refused work on this hospital site in 2000.
    · An electrician from Braintree, blacklisted in 1985 for being ‘politically motivated’ was refused work in 2003 by LK and 3271/81.
    · In 1977 an electrician from Manchester found himself put on the blacklist for being ‘mixed up with a left wing organisation’. He applied for work in 2003 with 3271/81, LK given details and not employed.
    · An electrician from Glasgow was put on the blacklist in 1978 as an ex-employee of Balfour Beatty. Despite further information stating that a company ‘experienced no problems’ with him and ‘did not regard him as an activist’ he applied to work for 3271/81 twice in 2002. On both occasions LK was given details and not employed.
    · A welder from Kent was put on the blacklist in 2000 by LK for being a ‘main agitator with mechanical sub-sub-contractor at Pfizer, Kent.’ After this he was refused work twice by Skanska.
    · A joiner from Hartlepool applied to work for 3271/81 on the GCHQ, Cheltenham contract. Danny O’Sullivan at Kier blacklisted him in 1997 for having been ‘drawn along by the course of events at JLE. Not in front-line of action’. He was refused work by LK in 2002 and again in 2003.
    · An electrician from Glasgow, blacklisted in 1974 for being a deputy shop steward at the Methil Power Station Site applied to 3271/81 for the Hymires Hospital contract in 2000. LK was given details and did not employ.
    · An electrician from Durham, blacklisted in 2003 by Costain at Barrow Power Station was refused employment twice in 2003 by LK.
    · An electrician from Croydon, blacklisted in 1985 was refused work by LK on their Gatwick Airport contract in 2000.

    On October 16th there was a hearing in the High Court on compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers on claims served in November 2013. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at a High Court Hearing in July 2014. The next hearing is 17th December
Talks between GMB and lawyers for Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC on a compensation scheme broke down in June over the amount of money being put into the scheme. Employers have unilaterally launched a cut price scheme GMB estimates will cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms.
So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on blacklist and of these 570 cases are covered by claims in the High Court. That leaves 1,489 still to trace. See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said “Liz Keates and the rest might have thought they had got away scot-free, so shedding crocodile tears now for the systematic blacklisting of 3,213 building workers and environmentalists won't wash, neither will the Nuremberg Defence of "just following superior orders".
These so-called HR Professionals who ran the blacklists for the construction companies knew exactly what they were doing and they need to either apologise, come clean and say what they did, or get used to accounting in public for the damage they did to those they blacklisted and their families, especially with the Public Inquiry Labour has pledged after the next election.
Just as the construction companies who paid their wages are being called to account in parliament, the courts and the media, every single one of these secret blacklisters will have their role dissected in public.'
Contact Carolle Vallelley on 07912 181 476 or Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
For information on High Court action contact Leigh Day: David Standard 07540 332717 or Michael Newman 0795 223 9358 or Chris Benson on 07795425649.
For people to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on 07840 897997 or email him
Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group
Notes to Editors
1 The dates for the first leg of the Crocodile Tears Tour are as follows:

    · Darlington - 21 October Lynne Day, Personnel Director, Cleveland Bridge: · Leeds – 22nd October Valerie Bennison, HR for Head Office Directorates and SCS at Child Maintenance Group, DWP: Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds,
    · Wolverhampton 23th October Liz Keates of Carillion, Birch Street
    · Sandy Bedfordshire 28th October Paul McCreath, HR Director, Kier Group: Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2BD..and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager, Kier Group: Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire
    · Glasgow 29th October Gerry Harvey, HR Development Director at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services: Lumina Building, 40 Ainslie Road, Hillngton Park, Glasgow
    · Aberdeen 30th October Kevin Gorman, Vice President HR, Harland Group: Ocean Spirit House, 33 Waterloo Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5BS.
    · Reading University Tuesday 4thd November for lecturer in HR Shelia Knight, EMCOR.
    · London Wednesday 5th November Paul Raby, Group HR Director, Balfour Beatty: 130 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LQ.
    · West Midlands on Monday, 10th November 2014 details to be confirmed.
    · Cheshire Tuesday 11th November - Arnold Nestler, Human Resources Services Director, AMEC: Booths Park, Chelford Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8QZ.
2 Managers named as blacklisters- to be part of Crocodile Tears Tour 2014/15. (Most initial are from the files of those blacklisted.)
· Michael Aird (MA) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Kathy Almansoor (KA) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Dave Aspinall (DA) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Alan Audley (AA) – Vinci - Watford
· John Ball (JB) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Ron Barron (RB) - CB & I – Tonbridge, Kent
· Valerie Bennison (VB) – Whessoe - Darlington
· Ernie Boswell (EB) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Richard Bull (RB) - HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
· Iain Coates (IC) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· David Cochrane (DC) - Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
· Ann Cowrie (AC) - Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering - Edinburgh
· Tony Crowther – AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
· John Dangerfield (JD) - Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern - Basingstoke, Hampshire
· Lynn Day (LD) - Cleveland Bridge UK – Darlington
· John Dickinson (JD) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Frank Duggan (FD) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· John Edwards (JE) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Kevin Gorman (KG) - Carillion / Crown House - Solihull
· Elaine Gallagher (EG) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Gerry Harvey (GH) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Roy Hay (RH) – Tarmac - Solihull
· David Hillman - Sir Robert McAlpine – Birmingham
· Keith Horner (KH) - Ballast Wiltshire
· Dianne Hughes (DH) – Tarmac / Crown House - Solihull
· Geoff Hughes (GH) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Greg Ingleton (GI) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· Prue Jackson (PJ) - Haden Young - Watford
· Vince James (VJ) - Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern – Basingstoke, Hampshire
· Armar Johnston (AJ) - Balfour Kilpatrick – Livingstone
· Liz Keates (LK) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Sheila Knight (SK) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· Ian Leake (IL) - Taylor Woodrow, Watford
· Tim Llewellyn (TL) - Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd, Eastbourne, East Sussex
· Alf Lucas (AL) – Mowlem
· Bridget May (BM) – Nuttall – Camberley, Surrey
· Cullum McAlpine - Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
· Paul McCreath (PM) - HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
· Steve McGuire (SM) - Morgan Est plc – Warrington
· John Morrison (JM) - Morrison Construction - Edinburgh
· Arnold Nestler (AN) - AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
· Lisa O’Mahoney (LOM) - Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
· Danny O’Sullivan (DOS) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Sandy Palmer (SP) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Harry Pooley (HP) - Rosser & Russell - Watford
· Derek Price – Morgan Ashurst – Stratford upon Avon
· Stephen Quant (SQ) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Paul Raby (PR) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Murray Reid (MR) - NG Bailey – Ilkley, West Yorkshire
· Roger Robinson (RR) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Sylvia Smith (SS) - Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
· Trevor Spice (TS) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Lisa Stevenson (LS) - Shepherd Engineering Services - York
· John Stoddart (JS) - SIAS Building Services - Keighley
· Alan Swift – Crown House Technologies - Manchester
· Pat Swift (PS) - BAM Nuttall - Guildford
· Alan Thorniley (AT) – Vinci - Watford
· Brian Tock (BT) - Carillion / Crown House - Solihull
· Ken Ward (KW) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Trevor Watchman (TW) - Balfour Beatty Major Projects – Redhill, Surrey
· Steve Wigmore – Crown House Technologies - Solihull
· Allison Wilkins – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Carolyn Williams (CW) - Haden Young - Watford

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bristol Radical History Group

Two excellent historical writers from 'across the pond' visiting Bristol, the latter marking the beginning of nearly three weeks of events entitled Remembering the Real World War One. The full programme is here

The Commons or the True Commons

Venue: Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ
With: Peter Linebaugh
Price: Donation

As part of his whistlestop tour of England, we are very pleased to have Peter Linebaugh visiting Bristol. His co-authored book (with Marcus Rediker) The Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic both inspired BRHG and provided Hydra Bookshop with its name. His recently published Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance (PM Press, 2014) provides the basis of this talk.
Setting out to George's Hill in April 1649 Winstanley and a dozen others announced in their pamphlet The True Levellers Standard, a departure from the Levellers of Parliament, the franchise, and the Army, and their intention to level in practice without Parliament, voting, or armed force by collectively digging upon the commons. After a short historical pause of one hundred and fifty years, the debate resumed in England during the decade of the 1790s amidst famine, war, riot, insurrection, slavery, and enclosure. Where had the debate gone during the 'pause'? Thrown by a many-headed Hydra it boomeranged to the Caribbean and north America returning to Britain and Ireland with revolution. Commoners of the world neglect this experience at our peril. Nowadays, "the commons" is cried on every hand, and yet the true commons would turn the world upside down. The "particular proprietors" or the "grand possessioners," as the One Per Cent world-wide were called, must common or be commoned. There are no two ways about it.
1914-1918: The War within the War


Venue: MSHED, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RN
With: Adam Hochschild
Price: £5/£3 Concessions
As we mark the centenary of the First World War, this epochal event is usually remembered as a bloody conflict between rival alliances of nations. But there was another struggle as well: between people who regarded the war as a noble and necessary crusade, and a brave minority who felt it was tragic madness and who refused to fight. Writer Adam Hochschild describes this battle in an illustrated talk, focusing on the country where that tension was sharpest, Great Britain.
Adam Hochschild's writing has usually focused on human rights and social justice, and as a magazine journalist he has reported on such issues from four continents. His seven books include King Leopold's Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, which won a J. Anthony Lukas award in the United States, the Duff Cooper Prize in England and the Lionel Gelber Prize in Canada. Bury the Chains is the story of the antislavery movement in the British Empire. To End All Wars, about the First World War, has been published in seven languages. His earlier books have included accounts of apartheid in South Africa and of Russians coming to terms with the legacy of Stalin. He teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
See you there,
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