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Blacklist Demo At Big Lottery Fund

Friday, March 22, 2013

GMB to tell blacklist support group AGM that managers and HR profressionals must account for role in blacklisting construction workers.

GMB is about to launch a High Court action involving over one hundred GMB members and would encourage anyone unrepresented to join or support us AGM in London tomorrow will be told.

GMB plan to step up the campaign to get named managers and human resources professionals involved with blacklisting in construction to apologise for their role in blacklisting, to come clean and tell what they knows about it.

 Mr Kenny will tell the Blacklist Support Group AGM in London tomorrow (March 23rd) that GMB plan to start at the offices of Dianne Hughes, Deputy Director of Human Resources, The Big Lottery Fund, 2009-current.  She was listed as one of the main contacts by Ian Kerr, who ran the blacklisting body, in written evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. She was Human Resources Business Partner, Carillion, 2002-2004 and then Head of Human Resources Crown House Technologies, 2004-2008.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. Over 60% of those on the blacklist were aged between 30 and 50 in the mid1990s. They were active trade union lay leaders on construction sites.

 The details of the AGM are as follows:

10.30 to 4pm Sat 23rd March

BLACKLIST SUPPORT GROUP AGM
Faraday House
Old Gloucester Street,
Holborn
London WC1N 3AE

Speakers include Len McCluskey (Unite), Paul Kenny (GMB), John McDonnell MP, Michael Meacher MP, Sean Curran (High Court legal claim), John Hendy QC and Professor Keith Ewing.

Blacklisting was not something rare. GMB estimates that in one quarter that Carillion checked 2,776 names with the Consulting Association and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names.

By autumn 2012 only 194 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist knew that they were on the list as these had contacted the ICO directly.

ICO finally agreed to supply names, date of birth, trade and town to enable GMB to check against membership records to find members on the blacklist. GMB found nearly 200 exact matches and the union is working to get files from ICO.  Leigh Day is preparing litigation to get them compensation at no cost to these GMB members.

GMB issued a map showing where in GB 2,554 lived or worked. GMB also disclosed that some on the list are green activists who have not worked in construction industry. GMB is asking if the security services were involved in them being put on the list. GMB also revealed that at least 240 on the list are women.

Of 1,864 people on the list there are: 529 electricians (28.4%), 240 labourers (12.9%), 211 joiners/carpenters (11.3%), 174 pipe fitters/laggers (9.3%), 141 platers, erectors and other metal workers (7.6%), 105 bricklayers (5.6%), 99 welders (5.3%), 96 scaffolders (5.2%), 66 banksman/ riggers (3.5%), 63 others (3.4%). 33 miners/ tunnellers (1.8%), 31 plumbers (1.7%), 25 fitters (1.3%), 21 drivers/crane drivers (1.1%), 17 plasterers/painters (0.9%) and 13 engineers (0.7%).The occupation for 1,349 people on the list is not known.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, will say at AGM “GMB will force the companies to apologise and compensate those they blacklisted.  GMB will also call to account all the managers and the human resources professionals who organized the whole thing for 20 years.

GMB led the charge to force the ICO to give up the list, and made them account publicly for their lack of action in failing to inform people that they were on the list. 90% still do not know they are on the list.

GMB has widely publicised the issue nationally and locally with maps and detailed reports to help find more of those on the list.

GMB is about to launch a High Court action involving over one hundred GMB members, and we would encourage anyone unrepresented to join or support us.

On environmental activists on the list GMB is putting together an action group, looking at their legal claims, and working with Bindmans to see how information about them was collected - was it from the police or some other unlawful force?

GMB is seeking a commitment that the Labour Party makes a public inquiry into blacklisting a manifesto pledge.

GMB is partnered with Liberty on getting to the bottom of this outrageous human rights scandal.”

End

Contact: Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group AGM.

For GMB: to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on 01603 742 877 or 07840 897997 or email him p.read20@ntlworld.com . Call Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

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