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"Crocodile Tears" Bedfordshire Kier Blacklist Protest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GMB “Crocodile Tears” Protest In  Bedfordshire On Tues 28th Oct Shaming Paul McCreath, Hr Director And Kathy Almansoor, Employee Relations Manager At Kier Linked To Blacklisting At Least 155 Workers

Managers like Paul McCreath and Kathy Almansoor shedding crocodile tears now for their part in blacklisting 3,213 workers won't wash, neither will the Nuremberg Defence of "just following superior orders” says GMB.

GMB held a protest demonstration in Sandy, Bedfordshire on Tuesday 28th October to shame Paul McCreath, Human Resources Director and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager for their part in blacklisting construction workers.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database, run by Ian Kerr, 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.

Paul McCreath was Human Resources Operations Manager for HBG Construction / BAM from 1998 until 2009 and Kathy Almansoor has been Group Employee Relations Manager at Kier since 2002. Paul McCreath is now Human Resources Director at Kier Group having been with them since 2009. They have yet to come clean and apologise for their part in the hurt and damage caused by their current and former employers HBG Construction / BAM and Kier who were involved in blacklisting at least 155 workers.

This was the fourth date in a national “Crocodile Tears” protest tour to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions. See notes to editors 1 for the 10 dates in the first leg of a national tour and notes to editors 2 for the list the 63 managers and where they worked.

The protest was held outside Kier Group offices at Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire. At the protest there was a person in a crocodile suit accompanied by union members with flags and banners and slogans “Nuremberg defence on blacklisting won’t wash” and “Blacklisters come clean”.

Paul McCreath, Human Resources Operations Manager, was named by Ian Kerr as the main contact for HGB Construction. He joined HBG Construction, now owned by BAM, in 1998 and worked there until 2009 when he joined Kier.

These are some examples known to GMB about HBG Construction blacklisting activities:

  • There were seven bricklayers, 6 from North Wales and 1 from Chester put on to the blacklist in July 1998. The files state ‘one of seven who tried to organise 3230’s (HBG Construction / BAM Construction) major site – Chester Broughton Park in July 1998.’
  • Paul McCreath was listed by Ian Kerr as attending Association Meetings dated 25th April 2007, 27th September 2007 and 25th September 2008 although a representative from HBG/BAM Construction attended another 22 TCA meetings between August 1998 and September 2006.
  • The Sales Ledger from The Consulting Associations shows that between 1998 and 2009, HBG Construction spent over £23,000 on Consulting Association searches, annual fees and meetings.

Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager, was named by Ian Kerr as the main contact for Kier. She joined Kier in 2002.

These are some examples known to GMB about Kier blacklisting activities:

  • Kathy Almansoor was one of only 7 main contacts who received all 4 of TCA mailing lists on  general IR matters, environmental matters, M&E issues and Facilities Management issues.
  • Kier played a full and active role in TCA, evidenced by the high number of occasions Kier is recorded as providing information to TCA, approximately 232 times. 148 of these are workers that Kier put on to the blacklist, 31 of these having then been refused work having been name checked by other companies.
  • One worker, an electrician from Newcastle, was put on the blacklist for allowing ‘himself to be drawn along by the course of events at Jubilee Line Extension’. He was refused work by the blacklisting companies three times in 2000, once in 2001, three times in 2003, once in 2005, twice in 2007 and four times in 2008, fourteen times in total.
  • On 73 of the files, Kier had provided additional information to TCA. On 46 files Kier have added the comment ‘Worked at Jubilee Line Extension: 1997 to 1999. ‘UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER.’
  • Kier spent over £30,600 with TCA from 1996/7 until its closure in 2009, over £19,000 of which was spent since Kathy Almansoor joined the company in October 2002.
  • Kathy Almansoor worked for Danny O’Sullivan, a former chairman of TCA in 2000 and 2001.

On October 16th there was a hearing in the High Court on compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers on claims served in November 2013. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at a High Court Hearing in July 2014. The next hearing is 17th December

Talks between GMB and lawyers for Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC on a compensation scheme broke down in June over the amount of money being put into the scheme. Employers have unilaterally launched a cut price scheme GMB estimates will cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms.

So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on blacklist and of these 570 cases are covered by claims in the High Court. That leaves 1,489 still to trace. See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said, 'Paul McCreath and Kathy Almansoor and the rest might have thought they had got away scot-free, so shedding crocodile tears now for the systematic blacklisting of 3,213 building workers and environmentalists won't wash, neither will the Nuremberg Defence of "just following superior orders".

These so-called HR Professionals who ran the blacklists for the construction companies knew exactly what they were doing and they need to either apologise, come clean and say what they did, or get used to accounting in public for the damage they did to those they blacklisted and their families, especially with the Public Inquiry Labour has pledged after the next election.

Just as the construction companies who paid their wages are being called to account in parliament, the courts and the media, every single one of these secret blacklisters will have their role dissected in public.'

End

Contact Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or Tim Roache 07961 719545 GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

For information on High Court action contact Leigh Day: 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 blacklisted@gmb.org.uk

Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group

Notes to Editors

1 The dates for the first leg of the Crocodile Tears Tour are as follows:

· Darlington - 21 October Lynne Day, Personnel Director, Cleveland Bridge:

· Leeds – 22nd October Valerie Bennison, HR for Head Office Directorates and SCS at Child Maintenance Group, DWP: Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds,

· Wolverhampton 23th October Liz Keates of Carillion, Birch Street
   Sandy Bedfordshire 28th October Paul McCreath, HR Director, Kier Group: Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2BD..and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager, Kier Group: Tempsford Hall, Sandy,            Bedfordshire

· Glasgow 29th October Gerry Harvey, HR Development Director at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services: Lumina Building, 40 Ainslie Road, Hillngton Park, Glasgow

· Aberdeen 30th October Kevin Gorman, Vice President HR, Harland Group: Ocean Spirit House, 33 Waterloo Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5BS.

   Reading University Tuesday 4thd November for lecturer in HR Shelia Knight, EMCOR.

· London Wednesday 5th November Paul Raby, Group HR Director, Balfour Beatty: 130 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LQ.

· West Midlands on Monday, 10th November 2014 details to be confirmed.

· Cheshire Tuesday 11th November - Arnold Nestler, Human Resources Services Director, AMEC: Booths Park, Chelford Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8QZ.

2 Managers named as blacklisters- to be part of Crocodile Tears Tour 2014/15. (Most initial are from the files of those blacklisted.)

· Michael Aird (MA) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Kathy Almansoor (KA) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Dave Aspinall (DA) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Alan Audley (AA) – Vinci - Watford
· John Ball (JB) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Ron Barron (RB) - CB & I – Tonbridge, Kent
· Valerie Bennison (VB) – Whessoe - Darlington
· Ernie Boswell (EB) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Richard Bull (RB) - HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
· Iain Coates (IC) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· David Cochrane (DC) - Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
· Ann Cowrie (AC) - Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering - Edinburgh
· Tony Crowther – AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
· John Dangerfield (JD) - Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern - Basingstoke, Hampshire
· Lynn Day (LD) - Cleveland Bridge UK – Darlington
· John Dickinson (JD) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Frank Duggan (FD) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· John Edwards (JE) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Kevin Gorman (KG) - Carillion / Crown House - Solihull
· Elaine Gallagher (EG) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Gerry Harvey (GH) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Roy Hay (RH) – Tarmac - Solihull
· David Hillman - Sir Robert McAlpine – Birmingham
· Keith Horner (KH) - Ballast Wiltshire
· Dianne Hughes (DH) – Tarmac / Crown House - Solihull
· Geoff Hughes (GH) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Greg Ingleton (GI) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· Prue Jackson (PJ) - Haden Young - Watford
· Vince James (VJ) - Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern – Basingstoke, Hampshire
· Armar Johnston (AJ) - Balfour Kilpatrick – Livingstone
· Liz Keates (LK) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Sheila Knight (SK) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
· Ian Leake (IL) - Taylor Woodrow, Watford
· Tim Llewellyn (TL) - Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd, Eastbourne, East Sussex
· Alf Lucas (AL) – Mowlem
· Bridget May (BM) – Nuttall – Camberley, Surrey
· Cullum McAlpine - Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
· Paul McCreath (PM) - HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
· Steve McGuire (SM) - Morgan Est plc – Warrington
· John Morrison (JM) - Morrison Construction - Edinburgh
· Arnold Nestler (AN) - AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
· Lisa O’Mahoney (LOM) - Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
· Danny O’Sullivan (DOS) - Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
· Sandy Palmer (SP) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Harry Pooley (HP) - Rosser & Russell - Watford
· Derek Price – Morgan Ashurst – Stratford upon Avon
· Stephen Quant (SQ) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Paul Raby (PR) - Balfour Kilpatrick - Glasgow
· Murray Reid (MR) - NG Bailey – Ilkley, West Yorkshire
· Roger Robinson (RR) - Carillion / Crown House - Wolverhampton
· Sylvia Smith (SS) - Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
· Trevor Spice (TS) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Lisa Stevenson (LS) - Shepherd Engineering Services - York
· John Stoddart (JS) - SIAS Building Services - Keighley
· Alan Swift – Crown House Technologies - Manchester
· Pat Swift (PS) - BAM Nuttall - Guildford
· Alan Thorniley (AT) – Vinci - Watford
· Brian Tock (BT) - Carillion / Crown House - Solihull
· Ken Ward (KW) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
· Trevor Watchman (TW) - Balfour Beatty Major Projects – Redhill, Surrey
· Steve Wigmore – Crown House Technologies - Solihull
· Allison Wilkins – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
· Carolyn Williams (CW) - Haden Young - Watford


3 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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