Judge rejects SSE’s ‘paranoid’ terror claims

A power company has failed in a Royal Courts of Justice bid to use the Prevention of Terrorism Act against a blacklisted worker in a bid to stop anti-blacklisting protests outside a power station construction site. An injunction was sought this week by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to end the twice-weekly action in support of sacked Unite member Steve Acheson outside the Fiddlers Ferry power station, Warrington.

Rejecting the firm’s call for an injunction, Justice Mann described the SSE legal case as “lacking any evidence at all” and as “fanciful bordering on paranoid”. Lawyers for SSE had claimed the protesters were committing trespass and Steve Acheson’s actions could affect the nation’s power supply.

The dispute at the power station started in December 2008, when the electrician was dismissed from the project by subcontractor BMSL. Steve complained that he was being deliberately victimised because he was an active trade union member and began to picket the site to regain his job.

After the Unite-backed legal hearing on 21 October at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Steve commented: “If this injunction had gone through it would have had a devastating impact upon trade unions ability to organise. I have been boosted by the support I have received from so many people. This is a defeat for corporate bullies.”

He added: “Tomorrow I will be back at Fiddlers Ferry, fighting the blacklist and fighting to get my job back”. Full costs were awarded against SSE. Acheson was one of more than 3,000 workers whose name appeared on the illegal blacklist that being used by over 40 major construction firms and that was uncovered by the Information Commissioner’s Office earlier this year.

A Blacklist Support Group spokesperson commented: “SSE were totally humiliated, their case was ridiculous. This was big business trying to use their financial muscle to trample over our human rights.

“The real terrorists are the big contractors who are destroying peoples lives by organising a blacklsting conspiracy to deny work to decent hard working trade union members. It should be the major construction firms in the dock.”

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