Frank Morris alleges he was sacked from Crossrail site last year for raising health and safety concerns. (Pictured: protest at Crossrail’s Westbourne Park site, September 2012)

Tim Lezard

Sparks-Crossrail-WestbourneA high profile case of alleged blacklisting on the £8bn London Crossrail project is to be heard in court later today.

(Pictured: anti-blacklisting activists protest at Crossrail’s Westbourne Park site, September 2012)

Frank Morris alleges he was sacked from his job at a Crossrail site in west London last year for raising health and safety concerns.

Unite – which is supporting him – believes he is the victim of a blacklisting conspiracy by the construction consortium Bam Ferrovial Kier [BFK].

The claim is being brought under regulations introduced after the industry-funded blacklisting agency, the Consulting Association, was raided in 2009 by the ICO data protection watchdog.

The firm’s director, Ian Kerr was convicted and fined and the company closed down.

Before he died last year, Ian Kerr admitted he had held discussions with Crossrail.  Unite says both Bam and Kier had previously subscribed to the Consulting Association’s blacklisting services.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Unite does not subscribe to the view that blacklisting in the construction industry ended when the existence of the shady blacklister the Consulting Association was finally uncovered back in 2009.

“There is significant evidence that blacklisting continued, even on Crossrail – Britain’s most high profile construction project.

“Frank Morris has our full support. Blacklisting is a national scandal and Unite is determined to support its members.

“Too many construction workers have had their lives ruined just because they had concerns over health and safety in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries or just because they belonged to a trade union.

“There needs to be a full and transparent investigation, backed by statutory powers, into all the allegations associated with the sordid spying enterprise called the Consulting Association.”

In November 2012, a senior manager at Crossrail, Ron Barron, was dismissed after it emerged that he had cross-checked the names of job applicants against the database held by the CA while he worked at another construction company.

Campaigners also say BFK’s head of HR on Crossrail was the main contact between the construction company BAM Nutall and the Consulting Association.

Crossrail has repeatedly denied involvement in anti-union blacklisting.

You can watch our film report on last week’s blacklisting ‘summit’ at the Scottish Parliament here:

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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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