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Carillion Kicked Out of Labour Conference

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GMB Welcome NEC Decision To Kick Carillion Out Of Labour Party Conference Until They Own Up, Clean Up And Pay Up On Blacklisting

Left to their own devices the employers spied and they lied and what the companies say and what the companies do are two different things says GMB.

GMB welcomed the decision of the Labour Party NEC to exclude Carillion from the exhibition space at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton next week as a major boost the GMB’s campaign to blacklist the blacklisters from public contracts till they own up, clean up and pay up.

GMB has now got the space that was allocated to Carillion and it will be used to ask Labour Councillors from across the UK to follow the lead of the Welsh Government exclude Carillion and the other blacklisters from public contracts until the compensate the 3,213 workers they excluded from employment because they were trade union and health and safety representatives. See notes to editors for text of press release from Welsh Government.

GMB lawyers in June 2013 lodged claims in the High Court in London seeking compensation for 70 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers.

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. Over 60% of those on the blacklist were aged between 30 and 50 in the mid1990s. They were mainly active trade union lay leaders on construction sites.

From documentary evidence seen by GMB the ICO confirmed that 224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion.  Blacklisting by Carillion was not something isolated or rare. GMB estimates that in one quarter 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. This makes it one of the bigger users.

The Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry into blacklisting the Carillion managers who dealt with blacklisting were named as follows: Frank Duggan, group personnel director for Carillion; Kevin Gorman, former human resources manager for Carillion’s Crown House division; Liz Keates, a current head of human resources at Carillion; Sandy Palmer and Dave Aspinall from NCS (Carillion’s in-house employment agency); John Ball, head of human resources at Carillion; Roger Robinson and Brian Tock, two managing directors of Crown House. John Edwards from Carillion is identified as attending Consulting Association meetings in 2008. John Blake a current senior manager for Carillion admitted collating information that appeared on a blacklist file and sending it to John Ball at Carillion Head Office whilst giving evidence during the Smith v Carillion Employment Tribunal in January 2012.

In a separate development there was also a lunchtime protest by GMB members employed by Carillion at the gate of Great Western Hospital in Swindon on Wednesday 18th September in a dispute over job losses and cuts in pay arising from changes to shift and rota arrangements without consultation.

In 2012 there were 21 days of strike action by these Swindon workers in protest against bullying and discrimination by Carillion at the hospital. GMB members demanded that Carillion management act to stop the culture of bullying on the contract and for an end to discrimination in the application of pay and conditions on the contract.

That Swindon dispute is still on-going as Carillion refused to acknowledge the continued discrimination and victimisation of employees. This has so far resulted in fifty seven cases filed against Carillion in the employment tribunal. GMB are extremely confident of a just resolution through litigation.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said, "The Labour Party must be applauded for kicking Carillion out of the exhibition hall at its Conference. Clearly they are as sick as the rest of the Labour Movement by Carillion and their blacklisting mates.

Hot on the heels of last week's decision by the Welsh Assembly to blacklist the blacklisters from public contracts in Wales, the Labour Party NEC has shunned Carillion from their Conference.

The exhibition space will be used to ask Labour Councillors from across the UK to follow the lead of the Welsh Government to close the net on the blacklisters like Carillion until they own up, clean up and pay up.

Left to their own devices the employers spied and they lied. What the companies say and what the companies do are two different things.

For any worker to be represented by a trade union in their workplace is a civil right that must be protected to the highest level, with new legislation backed by imprisonment and unlimited fines for anyone who interferes with it. For the Labour Party, these should be bread and butter manifesto commitments right now."


Notes to editors

Text of press release on blacklisting:

Wednesday 11th September 2013

Welsh Government takes action to eradicate Blacklisting

Public sector bodies in Wales can exclude blacklisters from bidding for public sector contracts under new Welsh Government guidance that aims to eradicate the practice, Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced.

Blacklisting is a practice where individuals have been denied employment opportunities because of their trade union membership or because of their involvement in trade union activity. It is known to have been used by construction companies operating in Wales, and to have involved Welsh construction workers.

A Procurement Advice Note has been issued to all Welsh public bodies to outline the necessary steps that can be taken through procurement to help eradicate blacklisting – which can be very damaging to the careers and livelihoods of trade unionists.

The guidance makes clear those circumstances where Welsh public sector bodies can exclude blacklisters from bidding for a public contract.

Jane Hutt said:

“The use of blacklists is wholly unacceptable and I fully sympathise with the individuals and their families who have suffered a terrible injustice as a consequence of contractors engaging in this practice.

“Procurement is an important part of the overall policy toolkit of the Welsh Government. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for any business in receipt of public procurement expenditure to use blacklists.

“I am determined to take action in Wales. I trust that other Governments in the UK will take similar action if they have not already done so."


Martyn Williams
Swyddog y Wasg | Press Officer
Corporate Communications | Cyfarthrebu Corfforaethol
Llywodraeth Cymru | Welsh Government | Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. | Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. |

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