ICO admits it has proof of another blacklist

Blacklist Support Group news release

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed it holds documents relating to another blacklist in the construction industry. The confirmation came in a letter from ICO Deputy Commissioner David Smith to Ian Davidson MP, chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting.

The letter states that the ICO holds information including “faxes to and from Hayden Young Limited which contain the names of what appear to be individual construction workers and their NI numbers, a list of nine contact names and addresses of what appear to be individual managers within different construction companies and a small sample of names and national insurance numbers of individual construction workers on what are termed the Pfizers, Royal Opera House and Jubilee Line lists.”

The possible existence of this new blacklist, separate to The Consulting Association list, was originally raised by whistleblower Alan Wainwright during evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in November 2012. Wainwright is an ex-senior manager at Hayden Young (now Balfour Beatty Engineering Services), Carillion and EMCOR (Drake and Sculls).

He told MPs a list of names and personal details of 500 workers from three major projects – Pfizers (in Kent), the Royal Opera House and the Jubilee Line – had been circulated to a group of senior labour managers in August 2000 by the then personnel director of Emcor, Sheila Knight.

Prior to working for EMCOR, Sheila Knight was deputy director of the conciliation service ACAS. She currently acts as a consultant providing expert advice and teaching workshops for human resources managers.

This letter to Ian Davidson MP is the first time that the ICO has confirmed that the Sheila Knight blacklist exists. Alongside the Economic League and The Consulting Association blacklists, the Sheila Knight blacklist is now the third blacklist confirmed to exist in the construction industry.

The name and personal details of Frank Morris, the Unite shop steward at the centre of the year-long Crossrail blacklisting dispute appears on this newly discovered blacklist as he was apprentice for Drake and Sculls (Emcor) on the Jubilee Line Extension when Sheila Knight was head of personnel at the company. The Blacklist Support Group believes it is information from this blacklist that was used to remove Frank Morris from the Crossrail project back in September 2012.

ICO Deputy Director David Smith gave evidence to the Select Committee investigation in October 2012 and admitted that the organisation only seized 5 per cent of the paperwork in The Consulting Association office.

Given that the ICO failed to tell MPs that they held this additional blacklist and also failed to mention that they held documents proving that senior police officers attended the secret blacklist meetings of The Consulting Association, the Blacklist Support Group questions whether the ICO is the correct organisation to be carrying out any further investigations into blacklisting and are calling for a fully independent public inquiry.

Quotes from blacklisted workers:

Jill Fisher – one of the few female construction workers on the blacklist

“I was in my early twenties and had just finished my apprenticeship when I worked at the a Royal Opera House. I had virtually nothing to do with the union but was dismissed for no fault of my own. It was the start of the building boom but I found it impossible to get a decent job. In the end it took me years, besides hard work and a lot of money to retrain as an engineer.

“I have now found out that my name is on two blacklists which were circulated among the senior HR managers of all the big electrical firms. Is it any wonder I couldn’t find a job? These people tried to sabotage my working life and deserve to be punished for their actions.”

Steve Kelly – co-chair of the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) – blacklisted electrician and shop steward on the Jubilee Line Extension

“How much more do building workers have to suffer? We now hear that there were three blacklists in total and many of us are on all of them: this is outrageous!

“Blacklisted three times; more personal information, more spying, more police collusion, more investigating us and our families. Where will this all end?

“Maybe we should sling in the towel and declare ourselves unemployable for the next 20 years til we retire! The damage caused, stress on our families gets worse by the day. Enough is enough, no more pussy footing around, we demand a public inquiry now! We demand jobs on building sites!”

Steve Acheson – co-chair of the BSG – blacklisted electrician – who won an Employment Tribunal because of his unfair dismissal for health and safety reasons on the Pfizers project in Kent

“Along with 240 other workers, I was sacked and placed on a blacklist for raising health and safety concerns at Pfizers in 2000. The ensuing years my family life was wrecked. Those wretches who conspired against so many thousands of decent workers scandalised our industry with their hypocrisy towards real health and safety and their belated disingenuous apology is merely a means of self preservation. If there be any justice in the world, each and every conspirator should receive a custodial sentence.”

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5 Comments

  1. paul hyles
    Posted 24 October, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    keep up the fight, dumfries trades councli had an article in local paper

  2. Posted 25 October, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you to all the “blacklisted” people who have given the evidence that has so far alerted my family as to why even solicitors may prove reluctant to advise people on related issues beyond referring to lack of availability of “independent advice” and “big brother” in my case since 2000; even one solicitor has advised, when appointed by a legal expenses insurance risk insurer, that my sons (only 8 and 11 years old after birthdays this month) need to await their eighteenth birthdays before bringing their own legal actions as such related damage to our immediate family members’ lives will not stop and two schools to date do not seemingly offer “level playing fields”/responses to raised concerns at respective Board of Governors’ Chair persons level to date.
    If there is going to be encouragement for local authorities to share even approximately £40m per annum seeking in part “radicals”, including possibly even children of such alleged people, surely someone needs to be sensible about defining “radical” in the “security” context; seemingly the Home Secretary thinks such recently announced figure is sufficient, presumably if the “security services” do not include “whistle blowers” simply raising valid concerns in the public interest.
    Also how many people are wrongfully on “blacklists” simply to hamper career development of a competitor in the same industry/profession/workplace, possibly aided by the “…not what you know” philosophy?
    Graham Riches, FCII (retired 2009 after over 40 years in Financial Services including in New Zealand during 1974/5)

  3. virgil s
    Posted 26 October, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to check am i on this list?

  4. Posted 29 October, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    It`s a lot bigger than anyone realises: I was a union rep in the nuclear industry up until being sacked in 1980 after being dragged in front of 9 managers and being accused of being against the nuclear programme. My blog address: ciaandbritainssecretdeathsquads.blogspot.com
    Getting blacklisted in the nuclear industry is just the begining. Gary Murray, a former MI5 operative wrote a book titled: “Enemies of the State” published 1993. He wrote, ” In the seven years I have researched this book i have come across so many anti nuclear campaighners who have had severe beatins which the police will not investigate.

  5. Posted 4 March, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    What about those of us who have been or are blacklisted from working Offshore in the North Sea and Oil Industry. Also at the Oil Industries oil and gas plants such as St Fergus where Shell, Total, Mobil Oil and the dozens of scaffolding, painting and other contractors employ labour?

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