“Balfour Beatty admission is the tip of the iceberg” BSG

January 24, 2013 in Reports, Strikes

Some updates from the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) over the last week. The group has worked tirelessly to uncover the damaging practices that have undermined workers rights and against blacklisting. NSSN give full support to the campaign.

Full opposition day debate in the House of Commons lasting two and a half hours with contributions by many Labour MPs (starts 13:24:00)

Credit where credit is due, the MPs did a pretty good job. Chuka Ummuna, Ian Murray, John McDonnell, Michael Meacher, Steve Rotheram, Ian Lavery, Natascha Engel, Tessa Jowell, Michael Meacher, John Mann, Jim McGovern, Dave Anderson and others.
Well done sisters and brothers. Blacklist Support Group get name checked into Hansard by John McDonnell MP (starts 15:54:52)

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has described the blacklisting of workers as a ‘national scandal‘ and has secured a debate in parliament next week after Balfour Beatty admitted checking the names of prospective workers against the Consulting Association blacklist on the Olympics project. Sir Robert McAlpine Limited (Olympic Stadium) and Skanska (Media Centre) both continue to deny any blacklisting on the Olympics.

Blacklist Support Group statement:

“The Balfour Beatty admission is just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the carefully worded statements by Sir Robert McAlpine and Skanska denying any blacklisting on the Olympics, the documentary evidence tells a completely different story.

Between 2008-2009 both Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine were each invoiced in excess of £28,000 by the Consulting Association for checking names of prospective workers against the illegal blacklist. These are the highest ever invoices paid by any firm subscribing to the CA blacklist. This coincides exactly with the mass recruitment stage of the Olympics project and at £2.20 per check, this equates to over 25,000 workers being checked against the blacklist by the two Olympics builders.

From 2006-2009, David Cochrane, Head of Human Resources at Sir Robert McAlpine Limited was the chairman of the Consulting Association, a post that Stephen Quant, Director of Industrial Relations for Skanska at the time of the Olympics project had previously held.

If this was not because of the Olympics, can Sir Robert McAlpine and Skanska please inform us what other major construction jobs they were undertaking during the same period that needed so many blacklist name checks?

The companies explanations are completely implausible and we look forward to when they face scrutiny in the High Court and at the parliamentary investigation into blacklisting.

Workers were sacked from the Olympics and others were denied employment because of the blacklist – there were major protests that closed down the main entrances to the project but were ignored by the mainstream media at the time.

Be under no doubt, blacklisted workers intend to continue our fight for justice until these mutli-national firms face justice, apologise and compensate us for this systematic human rights abuse.”