GMB Accuse Kier Of Blacklisting Agency Workers On Corby Contract Who Complained About Two Tier Workforce
Kier seem to have learned no lessons from being in the High Court today over blacklisting construction workers says GMB
GMB has accused Kier of blacklisting agency workers who have been stopped from working on Kier Street Scene Services contract in Corby because they raised a protective disclosure through the grievance process for unlawful deductions of wages and parity pay.
This has happened as there is a further hearing in the High Court in London on 14 July seeking compensation for GMB members blacklisted by construction employers including Kier.
The claims were served by law firm Leigh Day for GMB members on 27th November 2013.. Last October GMB held a protest outside Keir to shame Paul McCreath, Human Resources Director and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager for their part in blacklisting 155 construction workers. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release.
Rachelle Wilkins, Regional Officer, said “These GMB members very rightly raised a grievance with Kier Director, Andy Smith, over not receiving parity pay with permanent employed employees.
The three agency workers have been paid £7.00 per hour whilst their Kier work colleagues whom they worked side by side with have been paid £8.72 per hour. They were advised through their Agency after informal local discussions with Rebecca Taylor, Area Business Manager at Kier, that they would be paid the parity rate in May this year. However, only a few days later Kier reneged on the agreement.
The members were left with no option but to raise a formal grievance on Monday 22nd June 2105. On Tuesday 23rd June the grievance was passed to Smart Solutions by Jeremy Morrison, Kier HR, requesting that they deal with it. On Wednesday 24th June my members turned up for work as normal only to be told that they were not required. This has never happened in two years of working for Kier through the Agency, they have worked consistently for Kier.
We believe that our members have been victimised for raising their grievance and fighting for fairness and parity of pay. What lessons have Keir learned? Kier are in the High Court today over blacklisting workers. This comes after the ICO seized the consulting association database of 3,213 blacklisted construction workers.
GMB will not allow Kier to treat our members this way. We will fight tooth and nail for justice for these Agency workers.”
Contact: Rachelle Wilkins 07966 327970 or Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
Notes to editors
GMB press release October 2015
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.'
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