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CIPD Must Act On Mike Emmott Over Blacklisting

Monday, November 24, 2014

GMB Call For CIPD Action On Senior Employee Terming Blacklisting Of 3,213 Workers As A “Big Fuss About Very Little" At Manchester Conference

Mike Emmott making little of the impact of blacklisting is so far out of step with everyone else you have to ask whether he is in the right job as condoning it is totally against the CIPD’s own code of ethics says GMB.

GMB, the union for construction workers, is calling in the CIPD to take action over Mike Emmott, a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) employee, who termed the blacklisting of 3, 213 construction workers "big fuss about very little" and stated that he found "union moral outrage over blacklisting, rather distasteful".  See notes to editors for press release from Blacklist Support Group on the meeting in Manchester on Friday 21st when Mike Emmott made the remarks following a question from a GMB officer which is reported in media today.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized the Consulting Association (TCA) 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. No compensation has yet been paid nor has any employer apologised for this action. 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.

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 tiny amount of money being put into the scheme.

On October 16th there was a hearing in the High Court on compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers. The next hearing is 17th December.

In 2013 CIPD confirmed to Parliament that they were investigating 19 members linked to blacklisting. Last month CIPD said that no action would be taken until High Court proceedings for damages were completed. On 5th November GMB held a demonstration at the CIPD Conference in Manchester to protest at the total lack of action over five years by CIPD.

The extent of blacklisting by just nine companies emerged during the legal action in the High Court for number of names put on the TCA blacklist and numbers refused work – where known - as follows:

Company                      number of names submitted – number denied work

Balfour Beatty Third Parties                        302                  187

BAM Third Parties                                      34                    2

Carillion Third Parties                                 137                  107

Costain Third Parties                                  70                    17

Laing O'Rourke Third Parties                      85                    87

Kier Ltd                                                     229                 

Skanska Third Parties                                75                    103

Vinci Third Parties                                      64                    32

AMEC Third Parties                                    42                    40

Grand total                                                1108                595

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “This senior CIPD employee has yet again let slip that some senior HR managers don't actually think they did anything wrong when they were running the blacklist. See notes to editors 1 for Mike Emmotts role at CIPD.

CIPD members that organized the blacklist think they have got away scot-free. These very offensive and totally unacceptable comments by this senior employee of CIPD show that blacklisters have little to fear from a CIPD runs by the likes of him

Mike Emmott is either an empty vessel or a total hypocrite. The question has to be asked whether he is in denial or in cover up mode over the devastating impact of blacklisting on the lives of families. He is so far out of step with everyone else on this. You have to ask the question whether he is in the right job as condoning blacklisting is totally against the CIPD’s own code of ethics. .. See notes to editors 2 for CIPD code.

Clearly this man and this stance will be a massive embarrassment to CIPD members. The sooner they do something about this the less damage will be done to their reputation.  CIPD members must insist that their governing bodies take action over this. "

End

Contact: 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 blacklisted@gmb.org.uk

Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group

Notes to editors

1 Mike Emmott’s job title is ‘Adviser Employee Relations” at CIPD having joined in 1996. He is a former Civil Servant.

This is what CIPD says he does: “Central to Mike’s work is his interest in the way in which industrial and economic changes are affecting employee attitudes and working practices. This has been reflected in research into the psychological contract, followed by continuing work exploring employers’ experience of managing employee engagement. Recent work has focused on employee voice, global employment relations, industrial relations skills and HR in the public sector. Mike has spoken extensively on the agency working regulations and flexible working and is a regular media commentator on employee relations issues.

Other current work focuses on “smart working”, managing across organisational boundaries, agency working, corporate responsibility and workplace mediation.

Mike has been responsible for inputs to government consultations on a range of employment policy issues. He chaired the DTI HR Advisory Group on Work and Families and was a member of the advisory group that supported Michael Gibbons’ review of dispute resolution.

Before joining the Institute Mike had many years experience in the Employment Department. He was a member of the Employment Service Board and subsequently Deputy Director of the Office of Manpower Economics.”

2 CIPD Professional Competence and Behaviour

Members of the CIPD shall:

1.1       maintain professional knowledge and competence

1.2       seek appropriate support if business needs require involvement in new areas of activity

1.3       ensure that they provide a professional, up-to-date and insightful service

1.4       accept responsibility for their own professional actions and decisions

1.5       apply professional high standards of relevance, accuracy and timeliness in the information and advice they provide to stakeholders.

Ethical Standards and Integrity

Members of the CIPD shall:

2.1       establish, maintain and develop business relationships based on confidence, trust and respect

2.2       exhibit and defend professional and personal integrity and honesty at all times

2.3       demonstrate sensitivity for the customs, practices, culture and personal beliefs of others

2.4       advance employment and business practices that promote equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion and support human rights and dignity

2.5       safeguard all confidential, commercially-sensitive and personal data acquired as a result of business relationships and not use it tor personal advantage or the benefit or detriment of third parties.

Representative of the Profession

Members of the CIPD shall:

3.1       always act in a way which supports and upholds the reputation of the profession

3.2       be mindful of their responsibilities as professional people towards the wider community

3.3       comply with prevailing laws and not encourage, assist or collude with others who may be engaged in unlawful conduct

3.4       exhibit personal leadership as a role model for maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct

3.5       be mindful of the distinction between acting in a personal and professional capacity

Stewardship

Members of the CIPD shall:

4.1       demonstrate and promote fair and reasonable standards in the treatment of people who are operating within their sphere of influence

4.2       challenge others if they suspect unlawful or unethical conduct or behaviour

4.3       ensure that their professional judgement is not compromised nor could be perceived as being compromised because of bias, or undue influence of others

4.4       promote appropriate people management and development practices to influence and enable the achievement of business objectives

4.5       ensure those working for them have the appropriate level of competence, supervision and support.

3 Press release from Blacklist Support Group – dated 23rd November 2014.

Chair of ACAS, Sir Brendan Barber has publicly clashed with Mike Emmott from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) over the issue of blacklisting. The very public disagreement was in front of 200 of the UK's leading industrial relations academics, HR professionals and union officials when both men addressed a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manchester Industrial Relations Society.

Emmott, a former senior civil servant and the CIPD 'employee relations expert' was a keynote speaker on behalf of the HR body, a central theme of his speech was the need for HR managers to embed a "culture of trust, fairness and respect".

During the Q&A session he was questioned about trust and fairness by GMB union political officer Neil Smith over the lack of response by the CIPD to blacklisting. In response Emmot first claimed he did not know a great deal about the issue but then went on to describe the blacklisting scandal as a "big fuss about very little" and stated that he found "union moral outrage over blacklisting, rather distasteful".

There were audible gasps and an immediate rash of tweets from the audience. The conference then loudly applauded follow up questions that identified a number CIPD Fellows personally being involved in blacklisting union members. A flustered Emmott again responded by claiming to not know about the matter, even though the issue has been front page news in the media, including the CIPD's own journal. He concluded by saying he would be happy to have the CIPD members accused of wrong doing as his neighbours.

ACAS chief, Sir Brendan Barber (former TUC General Secretary) followed Emmott and publicly stated that he totally "disagreed" with the CIPD spokesperson stating that "blacklisting is a major injustice that has not been resolved" adding that it "raises huge issues about corporate culture and responsibility"

The comments by Emmott were even more shocking as blacklisted workers and Shrewsbury Pickets were in the audience and Manchester Royal Infirmary was the scene of the two year dispute which finally exposed the Consulting Association blacklisting conspiracy.

Tony Jones, Mancheter electrician & MRI picket, blacklisted for many years after raising concerns about electrical safety commented:

"Yes, it is a big fuss about nothing when you cannot feed and cloth your kids and don't know why. To me that's a form of child abuse"

Steve Acheson, Blacklist Support Group (BSG) chair and Manchester electrician added:

"BSG has submitted a complaint to the CIPD for breaches of the code of ethical conduct but 2 years later not a single member of the professional body has faced any sanction. Nor has any senior manager involved in blacklisting been disciplined by their employer, most remain in post or have even been promoted to the Board. The firms and CIPD have cried crocodile tears about blacklisting but the mask of hypocrisy worn by the HR profession has finally slipped."

"Blacklisting breaches our human rights. It is morally wrong. For any individual to face every day of his life, with no prospect of securing a legal right to employment because of a conspiracy is a complete crime."

Neil Smith, GMB political officer whose question sparked the row, said:

"GMB will continue to campaign to name and shame those guilty of blacklisting and will work with other groups to get justice for those that were wronged. CIPD and others involved will be took to task no matter how long it takes."

MIRS conference details: http://www.mirs.org.uk/50thAnniversaryProgramme.doc

This latest attack on the CIPD over their woeful response on the issue of blacklisting follows criticism by MPs when chief executive Peter Cheese gave evidence to the Select Committee investigation and an open letter sent in October by dozens of CIPD members in academia (many of whom were in the audience in Manchester).

Blacklist Support Group

video: Blacklisting 2013 - The Workers Strike Back

blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/


4 Where blacklisted workers came from.

Blacklisted workers – number in each area

 

 

 

 

Location

Number on the blacklist

Location

Number on the blacklist

 
 
 

Aberdeen City

14

Kent

95

 

Aberdeenshire

54

Kingston upon Hull

62

 

Anglesey

3

Lancashire

60

 

Angus

5

Leeds

53

 

Argyll & Bute

7

Leicestershire

5

 

Bath and North East Somerset

1

Lincolnshire

13

 

Bedfordshire

4

Manchester

183

 

Berkshire

2

Merseyside

173

 

Birmingham

69

Midlothian

3

 

Bristol

25

Monmouthshire

9

 

Buckinghamshire

20

Norfolk

7

 

Cambridgeshire

12

North Ayrshire

67

 

Cardiff

10

North Lanarkshire

22

 

Ceredigion

9

North Yorkshire

12

 

Cheshire

64

Northamptonshire

14

 

City of London

454

Northern Ireland

1

 

Clackmannanshire

3

Northumberland

7

 

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

3

Nottinghamshire

12

 

Cumbria

27

Orkney Islands

1

 

Denbighshire

34

Oxfordshire

8

 

Derbyshire

16

Perth & Kinross

2

 

Devon

19

Powys

2

 

Dorset

8

Redcar and Cleveland

43

 

Dumfries & Galloway

6

Renfrewshire

15

 

Dundee City

21

Rhondda Cynon Taf

2

 

Durham

11

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

3

 

East Ayrshire

18

Rotherham

56

 

East Lothian

1

Shropshire

2

 

East Riding of Yorkshire

16

Somerset

5

 

East Sussex

8

South Lanarkshire

16

 

Edinburgh, City of

52

Southern Ireland

1

 

Essex

57

Staffordshire

16

 

Falkirk

35

Stirling

7

 

Fife

24

Suffolk

9

 

Glasgow City

140

Surrey

32

 

Gloucestershire

32

Swansea

15

 

Gwynedd

12

Tyne & Wear

69

 

Hampshire

50

Warwickshire

1

 

Hereford & Worcester

3

West Dunbartonshire

8

 

Hertfordshire

14

West Lothian

12

 

Highland

15

West Sussex

11

 

Inverclyde

26

Wiltshire

5

 

Isle of Wight

1

Wokingham

10

 

 

 

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