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Blacklist Secret Court Order

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

GMB In High Court To Get Copy Of Secret Court Order That Instructed ICO Hand Over 3,214 Blacklisting Files To The Blacklisters

Once we obtain a copy we will be filing an injunction application to prevent the lawyers for employers taking any further steps using our member’s information without their consent or the consent of their lawyers says GMB.

The GMB Central Executive Council was told today( 15th April) of steps GMB lawyers are taking in the High Court today after it emerged last Friday that a secret court order was obtained last October by lawyers Pinsents Masons representing eight blacklisting companies.

That order not only ordered the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to pass over all the files related to blacklisted workers to lawyers representing eight blacklisting companies but also obtained a practice direction that the order itself should be kept secret from the public and all the other parties to the legal action with the construction companies.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database 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. 2,768 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist are not aware that their names are on the blacklist after the ICO decided not to contact them directly.

In October eight blacklisting companies (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) announced that they were setting up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) to compensate the victims they blacklisted. Pinsents Masons represent the eight blacklisting companies. GMB has been in talks with them on the scheme. No agreement has yet been reached.

So far 467 out of the 3,214 on the list know they are on blacklist. Several hundred of these 467 are covered by claims in the High Court. ICO contacted direct 1,200 after using their national insurance details to get a current address. That will leave 1,546 still to trace. See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

On 27th November particulars of claim were served in the High Court in the GMB legal action against Carillion and other for blacklisting GMB members. A further hearing is due in April.

Maria Ludkin GMB National Officer for corporate and legal affairs said “Since Friday 11th April GMB has been trying to obtain a copy of that order to see what other directions it contains. We believe the order also authorises the scheme to be able to contact blacklisted workers without the consent of the unions and lawyers representing them.

Both Pinsents Masons and the ICO have refused to give us a copy of the order claiming it is bound a practise direction of secrecy.

Yesterday our lawyers attended the High Court, and Master Leslie told our lawyers that we should be allowed to see the order. Overnight the administration office of the court has refused to give us the order on the basis that it is a secret order. We have been told that the order restrict the persons or classes of persons who may obtain a copy of the order.

Our lawyers are attending court again this forenoon to obtain a court order that we would be able to see the contents of the order. We want to discover how the TCWCS was able to obtain secret access to our blacklisted members details, which has given them six months to put together a compensation scheme which they have calculated, using the files, to be at minimum cost to the construction companies.

Once we obtain a copy of the order we will be filing an injunction application to prevent the lawyers for TCWCS taking any further steps using our member’s information without their consent or the consent of their lawyers.

The fact that this construction industry scheme has again been acting in secret to manipulate workers, and avoid dealing with claimant lawyers illustrates they have learnt nothing at all from the public outrage and condemnation of their actions. We will be taking all measures to discover how such an unusual order was given without notice to other parties or the claimants concerned.”

Justin Bowden, GMB National officer added “We are in the world of Franz Kafka when secrecy directions which are normally given in the case of terrorism and sexual abuse, are being awarded to construction companies to continue to avoid  dealing with matters in an open and honest way.”

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 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 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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