Top speakers at 29 October BSG AGM

Blacklist Support Group AGM update

“One of the worst cases of organised
human rights abuse ever in the UK”

So said John McDonnell MP in 2009 following the discovery by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the illegal Consulting Association database containing personal sensitive information about 3,200 building workers. The Consulting Association database was being used for decades as a covert blacklist by 44 of the largest multinational construction firms in the UK with the intention of denying employment to trade union members, stewards and safety representatives. Since 2009, new UK legislation has been passed, the European Parliament has discussed the issue and countless Employment Tribunals have been heard. There are currently plans for a High Court claim and a submission to the European Court of Human Rights. The current electricians’ pay dispute has demanded ‘End the Blacklist’ as one of its central themes throughout the campaign.

Whilst the unions UCATT and UNITE have taken most of the ET claims, the majority of the campaigning has been led by the blacklisted workers themselves under the banner of the Blacklist Support Group.

Blacklist Support Group AGM (supported by UNITE the Union)

Saturday 29th October 2011 * 11am til 3pm
Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, Euston
London WC1H 0AL

Confirmed speakers:

  • John McDonnell MP
  • Professor Keith Ewing (author of Ruined Lives report into blacklisting)
  • Gail Cartmail (Assistant General Secretary of UNITE)
  • Guney, Clarke & Ryan solicitors (Legal team for the High Court claim)

Plus: premier of the newly updated film: Blacklisted by ReelNews

Plus: reports from blacklisted workers themselves, including Mick Dooley and Steve Acheson, about the impacts of blacklisting on their lives and their experiences of the Employment Tribunal system.

Plus: grassroots leaders of the current electricians’ dispute who have raised blacklisting as a major demand in the campaign.

All blacklisted workers attending are asked to bring spare copies of their blacklist file to assist with press and High Court case.

ALL WELCOME – please circulate

Blacklisting protest against Balfour Beatty

Blacklist Support Group protest against Balfour Beatty

7am Wednesday 19th October 2011 * Balfour Beatty construction project * Blackfriars Station * London

Balfour Beatty is one of the biggest blacklisters in the UK building industry. The firm has a history of sacking workers who raise concerns about health and safety. The Information Commissioner’s Office issued Notices against six Balfour Beatty companies because of their support of the illegal blacklist operated by The Consulting Association and used to victimise union members and safety reps. Sacked Balfour Beatty workers Alan Dransfield in Devon and Jonathan Carr in Birmingham allege their recent dismissals came after they raised concerns about safety.

Balfour Beatty is also the lead company withdrawing from the electrical contracting Joint Industry Board (JIB) national agreement. It has issued 1,690 termination notices to staff; instead from December 7th it intends to re-employ them on £10 an hour, rather than the current £16.25 in the JIB – that’s a 35 per cent pay cut. Anyone who refuses to accept the new pay rates will be sacked.

Come along and show your support for blacklisted building workers and union members fighting to defend their wages.

Blacklist Support Group AGM, 29 October, London

Blacklist Support Group AGM
Saturday 29 October, 11.00am – 3.00pm, Nunn Hall at Institute of Education, Euston, London

This is not intended to be an event where lots of people make very similar long speeches from the top table about how terrible blacklisting is and how it needs to be stamped out.

The intention is that we will receive expert updates on various different aspects of the campaign and after each report the blacklisted workers will have the opportunity to ask very specific questions about what progress has been made and what is the future plan of action. This is an organising meeting – not a rally. Guest speakers include John McDonnell MP and Professor Keith Ewing.

The proposed Agenda items so far are updates on the following issues:

1. Employment Tribunals

2. European Court of Human Rights

3. High Court claim – a representative of the Guney Clark Ryan legal team will be in attendance

4. UK Parliament

5. EU Parliament

6. Academic Research

7. What are the official unions doing? – UNITE – UCATT – RMT

This bit will be where the collusion issue will be discussed

8. Ongoing Campaigning (including): Olympics / Fiddlers Ferry / Electricians dispute / media / conferences

9. Future Action Plan

10. Blacklist Support Group – Election of Officers (the last time we did this was in 2009 at the House of Commons meeting).

The 10 points above cover most of the areas where blacklisted workers and our supporters have been active over the past year or so. There will of course be an A.O.B. section for other items.

But if there are any other topics that relate specifically to Blacklisting, please let me know asap and I will add to the Agenda.

We expect to generate some media interest on the day – so if you are happy to be interviewed, please bring spare copies of your CA file (as this may be useful for the journalists).

More details will follow once things are firmed up but please put this in your diary and spread the word to your contacts and other blacklisted workers who may not be on our email list.