Monday, 16 February 2015

Blacklist Support Group Statement:

1. BLACKLIST Support Group statement:
It is six years since the construction industry blacklist was discovered. Since then there have been new laws introduced, Select Committee investigations and a historic 12 months industrial dispute on Crossrail to reinstate a blacklisted union activist. The involvement of the police and security services in blacklisting of union activists is now proven beyond doubt and has been raised in parliament by John McDonnell MP.
The High Court (Fri 13 Feb) and the Court of Appeal (4-5 Feb) hearings on blacklisting in the past week have seen the glacially slow British legal system inching nearer to a conclusion.
Yet in this week has also seen the release of a report about victimisation and blacklisting of whistleblowers in the NHS and the sacking of another union activist on Crossrail who dared to raise concerns about safety issues on the site. The coroners hearing into the death of Rene Tkacik, killed on the Crossrail project starts next week.
Far from being a thing of the past, blacklisting is endemic across British industry, from the NHS, banking, hotels, offshore oil & gas and of course construction. The fight is ongoing wherever working people are prepared to take a stand against corporate greed. Yet David Cameron, Teresa May and Vince Cable have refused to take actio. The need for a fully independent public inquiry into the national scandal has never been greater.
2. Very positive outcome in High Court blacklisting group litigation on Friday 13th Feb.
Lord Justice Supperstone told the hearing that the full trial will take place around Easter 2016.
Currently 385 claimants against 37 companies. There are another 187 claims waiting to be submitted - this number is likely to rise even more. The final cut off date for anyone blacklisted to be added to the litigation is 2nd November 2015. The average claim for loss of earnings is currently £110,000 per claimant. This is without any potential damages for defamation, hurt to feelings or compensation for human rights violations that claimants may receive.
The lawyers are now drawing up a list of 25 potential test cases. If both sides cannot agree the names, the judge will determine which cases will be heard.
The judge commented that the lawyers representing the claimants have been speaking with one voice but the employers were divided (and should sort their act out).
The judge made a number of orders about the dates that paperwork needed to be submitted to the court.
The legal costs in the case by December 2014 had already reached in excess of £10 million. 
The next hearing will be 14th May.
The Blacklist Support Group wish to put on record our admiration for the colossal amount of work being carried out by the lawyers involved in this groundbreaking legal case.
3. Another worker sacked on Crossrail for raising safety concerns. Message from Construction Rank & File: 
Rank & File Protest
7:30am Monday 16th February
Hanover square
meet: Oxford Street tube
A unite activist was sacked from the crossrail project at Bond Street today. The electrician was sacked for raising legimate health and safety concerns. The contractor is Skanska / Costain joint venture and he was working for VGC through an agency. VGC are non JIB company and non compliant (JIB is the national agreement for electrical contracting which is supposed to apply on the Crossrail project).
Our demands are simple - reinstate the sacked worker and for VGC to be removed fron the project. Yet again Crossrail management seem to be oblivious to the workers health and safety concerns this has to stop. The inquest into the death of Rene Tkacik who was killed on Crossrail starts at St Pancras Coroners Court on Monday 23rd February.
Unite were in negotiations today but nothing came off it. We must support our sacked brother. 
Please support - spread the word on social media and to all your contacts. This will be the first of many actions if the dispute is not resolved quickly.
4. Report published about victimisation and blacklisting of NHS whistleblowers by Sir Robert Francis.

5. Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union activists - by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberalin published by New Internationalist in March.
6. Blacklist Support Group AGM
Saturday 7th March 2015

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