CONSTRUCTION firms attempt to ban a number of blacklisted workers from giving evidence in the blacklisting super-trial was thrown out by the High Court on Friday (26 Feb). Edmund Nourse QC representing the blacklisting firms; Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska and Vinci asked for the court to restrict the number of witness statements to 17 'lead cases' and rule out a number of blacklisted workers from giving evidence. The firms specifically tried to ban the witness statements from electrician Billy Spiers and bricklayer John Bryan. But Lord Justice Supperstone ruled against the companies attempt to silence workers who have been victimised over decades.
After the ruling Billy Spiers, chairman of the UNITE national construction committee commented:
'I had a real bad time getting work on the cards after being put on the blacklist. I was sacked and apart from T5 and Isle of Grain where the union fought for me to be employed, I struggled, sometimes being out of work for a full year at a time. Along with a lot of my workmates who have been Shop Stewards or Health and Safety Representatives, its been difficult. These blacklisters are still not showing any remorse. Trying to stop witness statements from blacklisted workers at yesterday's High Court hearing just demonstrates their attitude: shame on them'
John Bryan, blacklisted bricklayer from Bermondsey commented:
'After waiting since the 1980s for some kind of justice, I cannot just walk away and leave our struggle without taking it as far as I can. I will support my mates in this fight. Blacklisted workers will not be silenced.'
Additional information from the High Court hearing on Friday:
1. A total of 240 cases have now settled.
367 cases are still live.
Plus another 75 new claimants joined the litigation last week alone.
Final deadline for claimants to join the group litigation was extended by 7 days til Friday 4th March. It is excepted that the total number of claimants going to the full trial will reach over 450.
2. The full trial is scheduled to start on 7th May and finish on 31st July. 16 witness statements have been submitted by the comanies including directors of multinantuonal companies who held the role of chairman and vice chairman of the notorious Consulting Association
3. After being instructed by the court to go back and search again. The firms now claim to have found the computer servers where emails from Cullum McAlpine & Gerry Harvey were stored. They still haven't actually handed them over yet.
4. There will be another case management hearing some time in first week of April.
5. German TV cameras filmed blacklisted workers outside the High Court.
6. Print quality photographs available from Guy Smallman (NUJ) firstname.lastname@example.org
Blacklist Support Group