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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2012

Exposed - the dirty world of the construction blacklist

A London Employment Tribunal has found that engineer Dave Smith had been blacklisted by Carillion (JM) Limited and Schal International Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Carillion) because he raised concerns about asbestos on building sites and because of his trade union activities. The firms actually admitted that their managers had supplied the malicious information in a signed statement to the court.

But shockingly because Dave had been employed through an employment agency, UK employment law does not protect him or millions of other agency workers. So the multi-national construction firms won the tribunal on this legal technicality.

During the tribunal a blacklist file collated by the Consulting Association was presented as evidence and contained many details about Dave and how he had complained about issues like asbestos or poor toilet facilities on building sites. The file was covertly shared among the 44 largest construction firms in the UK.

This is almost certain to become a key element in a larger "class action" style claim being brought to the High Court by 100 blacklisted workers in the next few months.

Ex-police officer Dave Clancy is the Head of the Investigations Team at the Information Commissioners Office, the man who led the raid on the Consulting Association premises and discovered the blacklist. He said in the hearing under oath: "There is information on the Consulting Association files that I believe could only be supplied by the police or the security services". He also told the court that the Consulting Association held information on elected politicians, journalists, lawyers and academics.

Labour MP John McDonnell said after hearing these revelations: "I am calling upon the government to launch a public inquiry into the full extent and impact on people's lives of blacklisting. These revelations are truly shocking and warrant a detailed and open, public investigation."

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In The Socialist 25 January 2012:


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Hard Times - but not for the 1%


Socialist Party editorial

The trade unions and Labour

Add your name to the TUSC petition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election conference


Socialist Party news and analysis

Public sector pensions: 'Coalition of the willing' gathering strength

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Con-Demned to unemployment

Fight the Tories' Welfare Reform Bill

Victory against Dorries' abstinence education bill

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Haringey parents say: No to academies!

NUS calls national student walkout


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Balfour Beatty re-ballot: Vote to strike again

Sweetheart stitch-ups in the electrical industry: A spark's history of the Joint Industry Board

Exposed - the dirty world of the construction blacklist


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt - A year of revolution and counter-revolution


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Defend Len Hockey: Outrageous attack on Whipps Cross hospital workers

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Related links:

Construction:

triangleHS2 debacle: nationalise rail and construction!

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

triangleHull construction workers strike against blacklisting

triangleSocialist Party member Janet Gibson advertising NSSN conference at a protest of steel construction workers outside a Siemans factory in Lincoln (click for report)

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

Police:

triangleTV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleProtesting is not terrorism

triangleEyewitness report: workers' struggle in France on the boil

Blacklisting:

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

triangleNeither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

triangleLobby of the Swansea City Council's budget setting meeting on 28th February, photo by Swansea SP

Agency workers:

triangleDVSA strike: action impacting

triangleGig-economy exploitation doubles

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