Balfour Beatty executive accused of perjury

A blacklisted construction worker has accused a top executive of construction giant Balfour Beatty of perjury – and says evidence in his blacklisting file proves it.

Colin Trousdale, a blacklisted electrician and Unite member from Manchester, told a 27 August protest outside Balfour Beatty’s Glasgow HQ that in 2008 he had taken an Employment Tribunal against the firm. He alleged the company’s human resources director, Gerry Harvey (right), had sent a letter to the court asserting “there is no blacklist, we are not blacklisting you, you are paranoid.”

In 2009, after the blacklisting group The Consulting Association was exposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the electrician obtained his blacklist file. The Employment Tribunal incident was covering in the file, together with the information supplied by the firm.

Colin Trousdale commented: “Perjury is a crime. Being a union rep is not. We need to see these people in court. We need to see these people in prison.” The website of Balfour Beatty Engineering Services identifies Gerry Harvey as a member of the company’s nine strong ‘executive leadership team.’ The Blacklist Support Group is preparing a submission to the Crown Prosecution Service regarding the alleged perjury.

Bar blacklisters from official contracts – MP

Labour MP Jim Sheridan has called for construction firms guilty of blacklisting trade unionists to be barred from publicly funded projects. The MP was speaking at a 27 August Blacklist Support Group protest outside the Glasgow HQ of construction giant Balfour Beatty.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP (left) said he would lobby government on the issue. “Any contracts from British taxpayers’ money – don’t give them to criminals like Balfour Beatty who are blacklisting people,” he said.

Mr Sheridan told the demonstration that years ago he had been blacklisted by the Economic League, a predecessor to the covert blacklisting agency The Consulting Association shutdown by the Information Commissioner’s Office, because of his own trade union activities.

“I want to send a message to Balfour Beatty and the big construction firms: it really doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.  “It is a long time since the days when trade unions and trade unionists were seen as the enemy within. You don’t have to get into blacklisting.  How much profit do they want to make before they stop attacking and victimising people at the workplace?” Mr Sheridan warned: “If you’re gonna keep blacklisting people – then we’re coming after you.”

The protest had been called to expose the role played by Balfour Beatty in The Consulting Association blacklisting scandal. The firm’s human resources director Gerry Harvey came in for particular criticism after it was revealed in parliament recently that he had attended meetings of The Consulting Association.

Firm linked to blacklist given a seat on the HSE board

A blacklisted construction worker has expressed concern at the appointment to the Health and Safety Executive’s board of a top director with construction giant Laing O’Rourke, one of the companies named in a major UK safety blacklisting scandal.

Howard Shiplee (right), who joined Laing O’Rourke as an executive director in October 2011, took his place on the HSE board on 13 August 2012.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, which provided former site worker Dave Smith with a copy of a blacklisting file held on him by The Consulting Association, said Laing O’Rourke was one of the major firms identified by code numbers in his file.

Smith said he “nearly choked” when he heard Laing had a director on HSE’s board. “Laing O’Rourke has one of the worst reputations in the entire construction industry,” he said.

“They are proven blacklisters of union safety reps. If the HSE Board don’t believe me, I will be happy to send them a copy of my blacklist file, where the company they have just invited into their fold are specifically identified as supplying information.” Also on Shiplee’s CV is a stint at Amec, another prominent user and supporter of covert blacklisting outfit The Consulting Association.

Smith said the appointment of a top Laing director to HSE’s board compounded his dismay at HSE’s failure to “to take any action or even investigate the systematic victimisation and blacklisting of safety reps since the scandal was uncovered in 2009. Now the guilty men are making the policy decisions. It reminds me of the film China Town and makes me feel physically sick to my stomach.”

The Department of Work and Pensions said Shiplee “has been appointed as one of the Board’s employer interest representatives.”

The new board member, whose last job prior to joining Laing O’Rourke was as the £258,750 a year construction director for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: “It is a privilege and responsibility to be appointed to the board of the Health and Safety Executive and I am looking forward to playing an active role in support of their important work.”

Shiplee added: “I firmly believe that high standards of health and safety are not only statutory requirements and morally right, but are also good for business – a healthy, safe and engaged workforce is more productive and committed to the objectives of its employers as conclusively demonstrated by the London 2012 construction programme.”

TUC’s Sarah Veale has also been appointed to HSE’s board as an employee interest representative. She takes up her post on 1 October.

BSG news release: Protest against Balfour Beatty, 10am Friday 24 August 2012

Protest against Balfour Beatty, 10am Friday 24 August 2012

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services HQ, Lumina Building, 40 Ainslie Road, Hillington Park, Glasgow, G52 4RU

Protest called jointly by: Blacklist Support Group and UNITE Scottish Sparks rank and file

Balfour Beatty is one of the worst of all the blacklisting firms with 6 Enforcement Orders against the company by the Information Commissioners Office because of their role in the Consulting Association scandal.

Gerry Harvey – Director of Human Resources for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited – is a proven blacklister having been identified in parliament and in court.

Balfour Beatty continue to victimise workers who raise concerens about safety issues including Jonathan Carr from Birmingham and Alan Dransfield from the South West.

Balfour Beatty were also the lead firm attempting to drive down wages and de-skill the electrical contracting industry during the recent BESNA dispute. Electricians in Scotland involved in the dispute have been targeted by Balfour Beatty for redundancy (when no other workers were made redundant on the entire site).

See the related YouTube videos: Video 1 and Video 2.