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Blacklisting Demos And High Court Action

Monday, November 18, 2013

GMB Demos On November 20th At Wolverhampton And Hemel Hempstead On Tuc Blacklisting Day Of Action As High Court Action Gathers Pace

On 27th November particulars of claim will be served in the High Court in the GMB legal action over blacklisting GMB members with a further hearing is due on 29th November.

GMB is holding demonstrations outside the offices of Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine offices at Wolverhampton and Hemel Hempstead as part of the TUC’s national blacklisting day of action on Wednesday 20th November.

On 27th November particulars of claim will be served by Leigh Day in the High Court in the GMB legal action against these two companies for blacklisting GMB members. Leigh Day has already had one hearing with ICO, where the High Court judge stated that ICO were to disclose the full un-redacted blacklist to them. A further hearing is due on 29th November, in front of the Senior Master, to make a decision about a group litigation order.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (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. 2,767 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.

Last month eight blacklisting companies (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) went some way towards an apology and have now offered compensation of up to £100,000 to the the victims they blacklisted.

The details of the two demonstrations are as follows:

From 11am Wednesday 20th November

Outside the offices of Carillion plc
Birch Street
Wolverhampton, WV1 4HY  

From 11am Wednesday 20th November
outside offices of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
Eaton Court
Maylands Avenue
Hemel Hempstead


At both demonstrations there will be GMB flags and banners. There will be placards with the words "Carillion Own Up, Clean Up, Pay Up"  and “McAlpine Own Up, Clean Up, Pay Up”.

In London on 20th November at 1.15pm there will be short TUC rally on blacklisting on Old College Green, Westminster. There Harriet Harman Deputy Leader of the Labour Party will meet blacklisted workers. See TUC website for details.

This will be followed by a meeting in Committee Room 14 in Parliament. This will be chaired by Jim Sheridan MP. Speakers include Frances O’Grady General Secretary TUC, Chuka Umunna MP, GMB blacklisted worker Dirk McPherson, Len McClusky, General Secretary Unite, Unite backlisted worker Steve Acheson, Steve Murphy General Secretary UCATT, UCATT blacklisted worker, Ian Davidson (invited), Dave Smith Blacklist Support Group and Paul Kenny General Secretary GMB.

In Edinburgh there will be gathering of trade union activists and their families outside the main entrance to the Scottish Parliament from around 12 noon until 1pm where members will be able to meet with workers who have been blacklisted and also the unions representing them. Following this from 1pm until 2pm there will be a meeting in committee room 3 where we will show the latest film about the blacklisting scandal and hear from those involved in the campaign.

Wales TUC is holding an event in the Senedd in Cardiff from 12 noon to 1.30pm. There will be GMB speakers and it will be attended by Assembly Members including Jane Hutt, Business Minister, who has taken a lead in the campaign in Wales.

Justin Bowden GMB National Officer said “This day of action is to give the message that the all the companies who blacklisted workers must Own Up, Clean Up, Pay Up.

On 27th November particulars of claim will be served in the High Court in the GMB legal action against these two companies for blacklisting GMB members. A further hearing is due on 29th November, in front of the Senior Master, to make a decision about a group litigation order.

With regard to the proposed compensation scheme there is a big problem in that only 446 of the 3,213 workers blacklisted know they are on the blacklist. How the other 2,767 get told has yet to be determined. At least half of the 446 who do know are covered by the High Court action.

How the 8 blacklisters who have offered compensation now respond to points made to them by GMB, UCATT, Unite and Blacklist Support Group will quickly tell us whether this is a serious attempt to work towards a negotiated solution, or if it is merely a cynical PR exercise

Over the weekend when Vince Cable, Secretary of State for BIS announced a panel to review industrial disputes and tactics used by both unions and employers he referred to blacklisting.

The ministers words on blacklisting would carry more weight if Government had already launched an inquiry into what we now know is abuse on a massive scale on the civil and human rights of over 3,200 workers by 44 huge employers.

Since there has been no such inquiry into blacklisting will this inquiry now extend to and deal this abuse by employers over decades? Will this new inquiry now cover the activities of managers who organized this blacklisting who are still in senior posts in the public and private sectors?"


Contact: Justin Bowden GMB National Officer on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin GMB Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer on 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823. GMB Scotland Richard Leonard GMB Political Officer on 07703 465447, GMB Wales & Soutehr West, Martin Hird GMB Senior Organiser on 07809 769378 or Wolverhampton Sam Jones GMB Press & Media Officer on 07939 874272.

For Leigh Day Solicitors: 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

Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group

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