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Carillion Swansea "Grim Reaper" Demo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

GMB “Grim Reaper” Swansea Demo On Friday 19th October As Carillion Is Sentenced In Crown Court Over Death Of Scaffolder In 2008.

Carillion blacklisted workers who raised concerns about health and safety standards and corporate bullying endemic in Carillion has not been rooted out and this culture risks more deaths and injuries on sites says GMB.

There will be a further GMB “grim reaper” demonstration on Friday 19th October at Swansea Crown Court where three parties, including Carillion, will be sentenced over the death of a worker in the case of HSE v Febrey Limited, Mr Michael Febrey and Carillion Construction Limited. 

These three parties are due to be sentenced on charges relating to the death of Russell Samuel a scaffolder killed at work at Meridian Quay in Swansea. Mr Samuel, a father of two of Thomas Street, Gilfach Goch, Porth, Rhondda, aged 40, suffered massive head injuries on 22 January 2008 after falling more than 60ft at the site which includes the tallest residential building in Wales.

Carillion Construction Limited will be sentenced for a Section 22 breach of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007.

Febrey Limited will be sentenced for a Section 2 and Section 3 breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 with director Michael Febrey being sentenced for a Section 37 breach of the same Act.

GMB, the union for construction workers, is linking the involvement of Carillion in this case with its involvement with blacklisting construction workers including health and safety representatives across Wales and the UK. Carillion blacklisted 10 workers in Wales as follows: Caernarfon (2) Clwyd (5), Llandudno (1), Mold (1) and North Wales (1).

The details of the demonstration are as follows:

From 10am Friday 19th October

outside Swansea Crown Court,

The Law Courts

St Helen's Road

Swansea

South Wales

SA1 4PF

One of the demonstrators will be dressed as a “Grim Reaper” with scythe.  There will be placards with the words “Carillion blacklisted health and safety representatives says GMB” and “Carillion corporate bullying risks death and injuries on sites”.

Carillion’s involvement with blacklisting came to light when, in 2009, the Information Commissioners Office ( ICO) seized a 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.

In June 2012 GMB published a report which showed that blacklisting by Carillion was not something isolated or rare. The GMB report 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.

The report showed that Information Commissioner confirmed that 224 construction workers from around the UK were victims of blacklisting by Carillion. These names, on the files of the blacklisting body The Consulting Association, were released in the course of an Employment Tribunal earlier this year when Carillion was accused of blacklisting a construction worker in London (See note 2 below). Click here on GMB website www.gmb.org.uk  for the GMB report “BLACKLISTING - illegal corporate bullying endemic, systemic and deep-rooted in Carillion and other companies”.

The 224 people blacklisted by Carillion were either based in or tried to obtain work in the following areas ( with numbers in the area  listed in brackets): Barnsley (1), Birkenhead (2), Blackburn (5), Brentwood (1), Bristol (1), Caernarfon (2), Canvey Island in Essex (1), Chatham in Kent (3), Cheshire (1), Chester (1), Cleator Moor in Cumbria (1), Clwyd (5), Croydon (1), Derby (1), Dundee (1), Edinburgh (2), Ellesmere Port (3), Essex (1), Folkestone (1), Gateshead (1), Glasgow (1), Gravesend (1), Grimsby (1), Hartlepool (2), Hillingdon (1), Irvine (1), Isle of Man (10), Kent (58), Kirkby (1), Leeds (2), Liverpool (14), Livingston (3), Llandudno (1), London (39), Lowestoft (1), Manchester (13), Merseyside (5), Mold (1), North Wales (1), Oldham (1), Plymouth (1), Rayleigh (1), Romford (2), Rotherham (4), Scunthorpe (1), Sheffield (1), Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire (1), Stanford-le-Hope in Essex (2), Sunderland (1), Surrey (1), Thatcham in Berkshire (1), Uxbridge (3), Warrington (1), West Wickham (1), Wirral (5) and Woodbridge in Suffolk (1). See map in report below for aggregated details. Arising from this report GMB is preparing separate legal action against Carillion for blacklisting.

Justin Bowden GMB National Officer said “This further demonstration is to highlight the terrible toll of death and injury in the construction sector and to underline the importance of the proper enforcement of health and safety laws to prevent this carnage.

Employers who kill and maim workers are as guilty of a crime as someone who kills or maims whilst drink driving.

The companies that now make up Carillion were part of a blacklisting conspiracy which deprived workers in the sector of jobs even when they raised concerns about the enforcement of basic health and safety and hygiene standards. The culture of corporate bullying endemic in Carillion has not been rooted out despite those at the top proclaming to the contrary. This culture increases the risks of death and injuries on sites.

Employers like Carillion who blacklisted workers has public sector contracts totaling more than £15 billion. They need to be called to account by MPs and local councillors. They should get no more of the public work they are bidding for in Wales until they apologise to and compensate those they blacklisted”.

Contact Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Maria Ludkin GMB National Officer for Legal and Corporate Affairs 07956 632 657 or GMB Press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

1 Information from Employment Tribunals

A ) In a Carillion blacklisting case in Manchester Employment Tribunal in March 2012 (Case No 2405634/09) Mr Wainright an ex-Carillion HR manager said in his witness statement “In my opinion a blacklist is a list of people (held by a third party or exchanged between companies) that a company or group of companies would not employ for reasons that they cannot legal or lawfully keep on their personnel files, databases or records. I first became aware of blacklisting in 1997 when I was employed by Carillion Plc. I was told by Mr Gorman, Crown House HR manager that Carillion used the services of an external consultant called Ian Kerr to ensure that certain workers did not gain employment on their projects. Mr Gorman went on to explain that Mr Kerr provided this service to a number of other high profile companies and had collated a list of names from each of these companies over a period with a view to ensuring that those on the lists did not gain employment with other companies.”

B) In the judgment in the Employment Tribunal on Carillion’s blacklisting a worker in London in March 2012 (Case no 1310709/2009) the judge said “It seems to us that he has suffered a genuine injustice and we greatly regret that the law provides him with no remedy”.

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