1. Select Committee investigation into blacklisting continues
Pat Swift – evidence session to Scottish Affairs Select Committee
2pm Wed 18th December
Committee Room 6
Houses of Parliament
Pat Swift is a proven blacklister and has been called to give evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigation into blacklisting at the Westminster parliament.
Pat Swift was main contact with the Consulting Association blacklist from the construction firm BAM Nuttall. He was also the HR manager for the BFK consortium on Crossrail where Frank Morris was dismissed after becoming the first union rep on the project.
This wretch actually used to taunt protesters and take photos of us at the Westbourne Park picketline when Frank Morris was unemployed and fighting for his reinstatement. Lets hope the MPs put him to the sword.
This is open to the public – Beer afterwards if anyone fancies coming down
2. Blacklist Compensation Fund
The employers proposals for a Blacklist Compensation Scheme which has gained masses of publicity in the press falls a million miles short of what is required. The list of shortcomings would fill a page alone. To date not a single person has been offered a single penny in compensation and during negotiations the lawyers for the blacklisting companies made it clear that under their proposals the majority of those on the list would only receive £1000.
The Blacklist Support Group (BSG) along with the 3 main trade unions UNITE, UCATT & GMB have unanimously rejected the scheme. The legal teams involved in the High Court blacklisting cases are now collectively drawing up an alternative set of proposals – BSG, UNITE, UCATT & GMB have co-signed a letter saying we are only prepared to negotiate once our proposals have been submitted.
BSG big issues:
Jobs for blacklisted workers – if the firms have genuinely turned over a new leaf, then positive action recruitment for blacklisted workers on major projects would prove it
Every single person on the blacklist to receive compensation regardless of how many pages or dates etc..
Compensation to fully reflect the crime and the human rights violation - poke your £1000
No gagging clause – we want full disclosure of documents and a fully independent public inquiry
There are a lot more issues but these are the key ones for us.
3. Undercover cops collusion with blacklisting
BSG has put in an official complaint to the IPCC about the police collusion in blacklisting. We are the only organisation to have done this.
The police have now admitted to our lawyers that senior officers from an undercover police unit called NETCU attended the Consulting Association meetings. Other undercover police posed as construction workers and attended our picket lines, campaigning activities and even chaired some meetings. These are the very same undercover police officers who spied on the Lawrence family and had long term sexually relationships with female activists they were sent to spy on. Many of the environmental and anti-racist activists spied on by the undercover police also appear on the blacklist. Our repeated attempts for various documents to be released under FOI requests have been turned down by the authorities including the Met Police.
Operation Herne has been set up as an internal police inquiry to investigate the role of undercover police spying on activists; blacklisting is part of that investigation. The Lawrence family and the other groups involved are all boycotting Operation Herne and demanding a fully independent public inquiry instead. Blacklist Support Group is supporting that demand. The launch meeting for the campaign is being held on:
4. Request for information on a blacklisting manager
John Edwards – former head of security at Carillion – has been identified in parliament as attending Consulting Association meetings as late as 2008.
Does anyone know him or his whereabouts?
5. Shrewsbury Pickets
Well done to the Shrewsbury pickets for handing in a petition to Downing Street today calling for the release of all government papers linked to their case. The original conspiracy trial saw building workers including Des Warren and Ricky Tomlinson sent to prison for conspiracy – they have always argued their innocence and accused the state of being in collusion with the building employers to target peaceful trade union picketing.
40 years after the original trial, the Home Secretary is still refusing to release the papers on the grounds of national security. Covering up the involvement of the security services more like it. Shrewsbury pickets were all blacklisted for their trade union activity – they are genuine heroes of the working class movement – we saute you.
6. Steve Acheson Defence Fund
Blacklisting is not just about politics, it is about how it affected our families.
This week is the 5th anniversary of Steve Acheson’s dismisal from Fiddlers ferry due to the blacklist – he is still protesting outside the main gates.
The appeal to save Steve Acheson’s home from repossession after years of unemployment due to blacklisting is now just a few hundred ponds short of reaching its target of £25,000 demanded by the bank. Anyone wishing to make a final Xmas donation:
Cheques please payable to “Fiddlers Ferry Hardship Fund” to Warrington Trades Council, 6 Red Gables, Warrington WA4 4SB. Thank you to all who have contributed so far.
Everyone involved with the Defence Fund should be congratulated – There are many people involved but special mention to Andy, Jason, Kevin & Stewart.
Top work fellas – they have saved a family home.