Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Agency blacklists scaffolder: short pay complaint!

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

"1. High Court 

The High Court has chosen 20 blacklisted workers to be the 'lead cases' which are representative of the different blacklist files. 
If you are one of the 20 lead cases, please contact the Blacklist Support Group via this email, we would like to produce a short publicity piece on each person to give our story some more human interest.

2. Agency workers deserve full employment protection from blacklisting and unfair dismissal 
Two electricians were dismissed earlier in the month immediately after they were elected as stewards on building sites in Canary Wharf and Oxford Circus. There is absolutely no legal protection for them because they were both employed via an employment agency and these workers have no legal rights in respect of unfair dismissal. . Only a solid picket line and the threat of continued industrial action won any kind of justice for the 2 blacklisted union reps. A judgement from the Supreme Court says if agency workers suffer blacklisting - they also have no legal protection in UK law. This abuse needs to stop. 
This week an agency told a scaffolder he was blacklisted after he complained about his pay being short - not over the phone but on an online jobs forum. The employment agency Atlanco Rimec has been exposed on TV for blacklisting workers if they join the union and in Australia workers have been accused of blacklisting construction workers who make compensation claims after suffering accidents at work. BSG are helping to collate information about blacklisting by agencies - if you have any stories of being blacklisted by agencies after standing up for your rights or for being a member of a trade union (in any sector) please contact us asap. 
4. Peter Farrell 

Peter Farrell, founder member of the Blacklist Support Group and the Construction Safety Campaign and currently chair of the London Hazards Centre is not well at the moment. We wish him a swift and full recovery and send best wishes to him and Julia. 

5. Sparks in Ireland in dispute on construction site run by blacklisting firm BAM

6. Oh yes, and that bloke Jeremy Corbyn 
During the standing room only meeting at the iconic Adelphi hotel in Liverpool, Roy Bentham, Blacklist Support Group executive member told the audience: 
"Jeremy is the only candidate to officially endorse the Blacklist campaign along with the Orgreave and the Shrewsbury picket struggles in his speeches and literature. And blacklisted workers are proud to fully endorse him for leader of the Labour Party". 
(Flyer attached). 

7. Blacklist Support Group send solidarity greetings to victimised union reps Candy Udwin at National Gallery and Alan Brown at Bromley Council. 
Plus the ongoing Teeside #PayTheRate dispute about undercutting the national collective agreements - http://youtu.be/JgbSOxf4gTE

8. Dates for the diary

Sat 22 August - Construction Rank and File national meeting (1-4pm), Unite HQ, 128 Theobalds Rd, Holborn - all construction workers welcome. 
4 Sep (6:30am) - BSG & union protest against ongoing blacklisting at Royal Liverpool Hospital 
4-5 September - Social Justice Conference (organised by GMB) Manchester - speakers include Tom Watson, Helen Steel and Dave Smith 
4-6 September - Hazards Campaign National Conference - http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/hazardsconference/2015bookingform.pdf
7 Sep - Liberty Human Rights Awards - http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/the-2015-liberty-human-rights-92542?dt=2015-09-07
10 Sept (7:30pm) - Croydon TUC - Blacklisted book event with Dave Smith
13 Sept - Direct against blacklisting firm Carillion in London - joint action  with 'BP or Not BP' campaign  a Facebook event for the action - anyone interested, please contact us ASAP. 
13 Sept - Kill The Bil - National Shop Stewards Network at TUC Congress Brighton 
15 Sep - Spycops Fringe Meeting at TUC Congress Brighton - speakers: Matt Wrack (FBU), John McDonnell MP, Helen Steel, Dave Smith, Shamik Dutta
16 Sep - Blacklisted book events in Brighton with Phil Chamberlain & Dave Smith   
17 Sep - University of Liverpool - Policing & Democracy in the 21st Century conference (flyer attached) 
Coming in November 
United We Stand, Townsend Productions play about the Shrewsbury Pickets - Bussy Building Peckham - with Blacklist Support Group (flyer attached)
Unite the Resistance conference 

9. World Cup in Qatar

The scandal of the World Cup being held in Qatar in 2022 can no longer go unchallenged. So far, over 1400 workers have died in the construction of stadiums, mostly migrant workers. But FIFA’s response has been to keep calm and confirm that Qatar won’t lose the tournament. Germany’s member of the FIFA executive board, Theo Zwanzinger, feigns helplessness in the face of worker abuses. "This feudal system existed before the World Cup," he said. "What do you expect of a football organization? FIFA is not the lawmaker in Qatar." No but FIFA chose to hand them the biggest football show on the planet and should take more responsibility. Sepp Blatter stated in April 2014 that "We cannot interfere with the rights of workers".

Analysts projected that more than 4,000 migrant construction workers will die before the official launch of the World Cup in 2022 if the Qatari government will not improve its labour standards and strictly enforce it to all construction companies doing business the country. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. We can take part in and encourage fellow trade union activists and friends to email or use social media objecting to the FIFA Elections, along with the following demands for all constructions workers involved in constructing the new World Cup Stadiums, especially in Qatar, by emailing the following motion / bullet four points:-

We call upon the Football Association to demand the 2022 World Cup is either relocated or that the Qatar authorities immediately end the Kafala sponsorship system that restrict workers.
  • Adopt the principles of the ILO Core Conventions, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OCED  guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and included them in the criteria for bid by countries wishing to host the World Cup
  • Adopt mandatory policy of “Decent Work Stadium and Infrastructure Standards” for contracts throughout the supply chain related to World Cup
  • Include respect workers’ rights, decent work and binding on safety  provisions on safety and health in the FIFA law
  • Contact joint labour inspections with BWI to ensure international labour rights and standards are adhered to in Qatar."
Blacklist Support Group

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