Blacklist Support Group statement
Solidarity with Lee Fowler, who has been dismissed by the electrical contractor Bilfinger after he raised safety issues at the Cargill’s Refinery site in Merseyside (next to the new Everton football stadium construction project). The experienced and highly qualified electrician made several complaints about unsafe working conditions and helped four co-workers to obtain a pay rise.
Lee Fowler commented after his dismissal: “I got the four lads a 14% pay rise and I raised health and safety concerns about the site. I was involved in a serious accident myself, and the subsequent report found no blame on my part whatsoever. I have repeatedly asked to see the safety documents relating to my accident, and that request has been repeatedly denied. And for that I was dismissed? I have fought for workers’ health and safety for over 30 years: they won’t silence me!”
Lee Fowler is a member of Unite the Union who are representing him.
Frank Morris and Tony Seaman, UNITE Executive Council members for construction issued a joint statement: “It is really disappointing that in 2023, we continue to see workers who are prepared to raise genuine concerns about safety being targeted. Despite all that was promised by major contractors in the High Court in 2016, this issue continues to blight our members lives.
“Blacklisting is one of the reasons that the construction sector has such a horrendous safety record. We cannot stand by and watch union members be repeatedly victimised. Unite will never stop fighting the harassment faced by workers who stand up for their rights. An injury to one is an injury to all”.
Blacklist Support Group posted on their Facebook page:
Lee Fowler is a leading member of the Blacklist Support Group – having first been blacklisted after becoming an OILC safety rep in the North Sea in the early 90s.
Construction workers who raise concerns about potential hazards that could affect people on site and the surrounding community should be applauded. The industry has glossy posters that encourage workers to speak out. But time and again, workers who are conscientious about safety get sacked. Get your banners ready, another blacklisting dispute is about to kick off.