by Tim Lezard The GMB today calls for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to take action over an employee who described blacklisting as “a big fuss over very little”. Answering a question on blacklisting – an issue that affected more t …

Tim Lezard

blacklistby Tim Lezard

The GMB today calls for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to take action over an employee who described blacklisting as “a big fuss over very little”.

Answering a question on blacklisting – an issue that affected more than 3,000 construction workers – the CIPD’s Mike Emmott said he found “union moral outrage over blacklisting rather distasteful”.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “This senior CIPD employee has yet again let slip that some senior HR managers don’t actually think they did anything wrong when they were running the blacklist.

“CIPD members that organised the blacklist think they have got away scot-free. These very offensive and totally unacceptable comments by this senior employee of CIPD show that blacklisters have little to fear from a CIPD runs by the likes of him

“Mike Emmott is either an empty vessel or a total hypocrite. The question has to be asked whether he is in denial or in cover up mode over the devastating impact of blacklisting on the lives of families. He is so far out of step with everyone else on this. You have to ask the question whether he is in the right job as condoning blacklisting is totally against the CIPD’s own code of ethics.

“Clearly this man and this stance will be a massive embarrassment to CIPD members. The sooner they do something about this the less damage will be done to their reputation. CIPD members must insist that their governing bodies take action over this.”

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized the Consulting Association (TCA) database, run by Ian Kerr, 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.

No compensation has yet been paid nor has any employer apologised for this action. So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on blacklist and of these 570 cases are covered by claims in the High Court. That leaves 1,489 still to trace.

Talks between GMB and lawyers for Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC on a compensation scheme broke down in June over the tiny amount of money being put into the scheme.

On October 16th there was a hearing in the High Court on compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers. The next hearing is 17th December.

In 2013 CIPD confirmed to Parliament that they were investigating 19 members linked to blacklisting. Last month CIPD said that no action would be taken until High Court proceedings for damages were completed. On 5th November GMB held a demonstration at the CIPD Conference in Manchester to protest at the total lack of action over five years by CIPD.

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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