GMB names and shames Carillion’s Liz Keates over blacklisting by Tim Lezard GMB are holding demonstrations across the UK to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions. The un …

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GMB names and shames Carillion's Liz Keates over blacklisting

GMB names and shames Carillion’s Liz Keates over blacklisting

by Tim Lezard

GMB are holding demonstrations across the UK to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions.

The union is organising protests in Leeds, Wolverhampton, Sandy, Glasgow, Aberdeen, London, West Midlands and Cheshire over the next few weeks.

Today’s protest in Leeds draws attention to Valerie Bennison, HR for Head Office Directorates and SCS at Child Maintenance Group.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “Valerie Bennison and the rest might have thought they had got away scot-free, so shedding crocodile tears now for the systematic blacklisting of 3,213 building workers and environmentalists won’t wash, neither will the Nuremberg Defence of “just following superior orders”.

“These so-called HR professionals who ran the blacklists for the construction companies knew exactly what they were doing and they need to either apologise, come clean and say what they did, or get used to accounting in public for the damage they did to those they blacklisted and their families, especially with the Public Inquiry Labour has pledged after the next election.

“Just as the construction companies who paid their wages are being called to account in parliament, the courts and the media, every single one of these secret blacklisters will have their role dissected in public.’

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association 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.

On October 16th there was a hearing in the High Court on compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers on claims served in November 2013. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at a High Court Hearing in July 2014. The next hearing is 17th December.

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 amount of money being put into the scheme. Employers have unilaterally launched a cut price scheme GMB estimates will cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms.

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.


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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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