Monday, 13 May 2013

Blacklisting Demo at Big Lottery

The GMB is to protest at the Big Lottery in Birmingham on Tuesday 14th May over HR professional's role in Blacklisting Construction workers. 

GMB asked Dianne Hughes if she would join other human resources professionals, and talk to us about blacklisting, to get to the truth, but instead she threatened litigation

GMB plan a protest demonstration from 11am on Tuesday 14 May outside the Birmingham offices of Dianne Hughes who is employed as Deputy Director of Human Resources at The Big Lottery Fund.

Ms Hughes was listed as the main contact for blacklisting at Costain by Ian Kerr, who ran the Consulting Association blacklisting body, in written evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Inquiry on blacklisting in the UK Parliament. She was Human Resources Business Partner, Carillion, 2002-2004 and then Head of Human Resources Crown House Technologies, 2004-2008.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. Over 60% of those on the blacklist were aged between 30 and 50 in the mid1990s. They were mainly active trade union lay leaders on construction sites.

This GMB protest is the first as part of the union’s campaign to get named managers and human resources professionals involved with blacklisting in construction to apologise for their role in blacklisting, to come clean and tell what they knows about it.

The details of the protest demonstrations are as follows:

From 11am Tuesday 14th May
Outside Big Lottery offices 
Apex House
Embassy Drive
Calthorpe Road
West Midlands
B15 1TP

Protesters will have flags and banners and placards with “You've more chance of being blacklisted than winning the Lottery”

Blacklisting was not something rare. GMB estimates that in one quarter for example that Carillion checked 2,776 names with the Consulting Association and in the period from October 1999 to April 2004 it estimates that Carillion checked at least 14,724 names.

By autumn 2012 only 194 of the 3,213 people on the blacklist knew that they were on the list as these had contacted the ICO directly.

ICO finally agreed to supply names, date of birth, trade and town to enable GMB to check against membership records to find members on the blacklist.
GMB found nearly 200 exact matches and the union is working to get files from ICO.  Leigh Day is preparing litigation to get them compensation at no cost to these GMB members.

GMB issued a map showing where in GB 2,554 lived or worked. GMB also disclosed that some on the list are green activists who have not worked in construction industry. GMB is asking if the security services were involved in them being put on the list. GMB also revealed that at least 240 on the list are women.

Of 1,864 people on the list there are: 529 electricians (28.4%), 240 labourers (12.9%), 211 joiners/carpenters (11.3%), 174 pipe fitters/laggers (9.3%), 141 platers, erectors and other metal workers (7.6%), 105 bricklayers (5.6%), 99 welders (5.3%), 96 scaffolders (5.2%), 66 banksman/ riggers (3.5%), 63 others (3.4%). 33 miners/ tunnellers (1.8%), 31 plumbers (1.7%), 25 fitters (1.3%), 21 drivers/crane drivers (1.1%), 17 plasterers/painters (0.9%) and 13 engineers (0.7%).The occupation for 1,349 people on the list is not known.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “GMB will force the companies to apologise and compensate those they blacklisted. GMB is also calling to account all the managers and the human resources professionals who organized the whole thing for 20 years. That is the reason for this protest

GMB asked Dianne Hughes if she would join other human resources professionals, and talk to us about blacklisting, to get to the truth, but instead she threatened litigation.

New employers need to know their staff were involved in this shameful practice.

There will be a report at GMB Congress in Plymouth on 4th June on progress on a  High Court action on blacklisting involving over one hundred GMB members.

GMB is seeking a commitment that the Labour Party makes a public inquiry into blacklisting a manifesto pledge.”

Call Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
For union members to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on 01603 742 877 or 07840 897997 or email him
Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group AGM.

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