Terror law used against blacklisted electrician

A power company is using anti-terror legislation against a blacklisted worker in a bid to stop anti-blacklisting protests outside a power station construction site.

An injunction has been sought by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to end the twice-weekly action by Unite member Steve Acheson outside the Fiddlers Ferry power station, Warrington, since his dismissal by contractors in December 2008.

A report from Warrington Trades Council, posted on Labournet, notes: “He has now been served with notice of an injunction against his protest.” 

It adds: “In law this will only be granted if there is an imminent threat of harm or loss. To this end the injunction makes various fantastical claims that Steve and his supporters pose a danger to the National Grid!”

The hearing is scheduled for Royal Courts of Justice, London, on Wednesday 21 October at 10.30am. The firm claims protesters are committing trespass and Steve Acheson’s actions could affect the nation’s power supply.

In using this terror law ruse against the sacked electrician, the firms application for an injunction does not mention the action is in protest at the alleged blacklisting of the union rep. Steve Acheson is one of the workers involved in a blacklisting class action case. Union advisers also believe it means the union rep has few rights to challenge the allegations made by the firm.

According to the Warrington Trades Council report: “Steve and his supporters stand outside the power station every Monday and Friday from 7.30am as a peaceful protest against his unfair dismissal and subsequent denial of a grievance process. None of them has ever attempted to enter the power station, or disrupt generation, or block the entrance to the site.

“If anything it was Steve’s employers who broke local agreements, and the law of the land, in sacking him contrary to the agreed rules on the site. His employer, such is the abysmal contractor culture on these projects, was a sub-contractor to a sub-contractor to a contractor to SSE! SSE could at any time, by lifting their little finger, have got Steve re-instated, or at least got him access to a grievance procedure.”

It concludes: “Instead of which we have the grotesque spectacle of a company that made over £1 billion profit last year bullying an unemployed electrician.”

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