GMB will hold a protest demonstration in London on 5th November to shame Paul Raby, Group HR Director Balfour Beatty who was named in Parliament, for his links to blacklisting 151 construction workers.
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. Paul Raby was named as main contact for TCA by Ian Kerr for Balfour Kilpatrick.
This is the eight date in a national “Crocodile Tears” protest tour to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions. See notes to editors 1 for the 10 dates in the first leg of a national tour and notes to editors 2 for the list the 63 managers and where they worked.
The details of the protest are as follows:
At 11am 5th November
Outside Balfour Beatty
130 Wilton Road,
London SW1V 1LQ.
At the protest there will be a person in a crocodile suit accompanied by union members with flags and banners and slogans “Nuremberg defence on blacklisting won’t wash” and “Blacklisters come clean”.
This is what GMB know about the blacklisting links of Paul Raby:
· References to 3223/F (Balfour Kilpatrick) appear in the TCA blacklist files at least 272 times. Balfour Kilpatrick has the following managers named: Michael Aird (96 references), Armar Johnstone (61 references), Elaine Gallagher (33 references), Gerry Harvey (3 references) along with some, as yet, unidentified people, BC (40 references), LB (22 references) and EL (1 reference).
- · 54 people were put on the blacklist by Balfour Kilpatrick, 29 of these were subsequently refused employment by themselves or other blacklisting firms. 6 people were refused work on 2 occasions after being blacklisted by Balfour Kilpatrick, 4 people 3 times, 2 people refused work 4 times and one worker refused work 7 times between 2000 and 2008.
- · Balfour Kilpatrick refused work to an additional 97 different individuals after having them name checked. 22 people were refused work twice by the company, 7 refused work 3 times and 2 workers refused work 4 times.
- · An electrician from Kent was put on the blacklist in 1999 as he had worked at the Jubilee Line Extension. In 2001 he applied to Balfour Kilpatrick to work on the Pfizer, Sandwich contract. The blacklist files states ‘Main Contact (MA) given details. Co has not employed.’ After the company had not employed, this electrician was refused work a further 3 times.
- · A welder from Wales was blacklisted in 1976. He was name checked 21 times by the blacklisting firms. In 2001 and 2005 he applied to 3223/F, one a general application, the other for an offshore Aberdeen contract. He was refused work on both occasions, the latest being 29 years after he was put on the blacklist and despite being told the information was old.
- · One worker was blacklisted by Balfour Kilpatrick for supporting the action at Pfizer. An additional note added the same year stated that he ‘has worked for 3223/F for 20 years with no previous problems’ yet he remained on the list.
- · An electrician from Birmingham was blacklisted in 1976 because he ‘attended a rally in protest at the government 4½% wage limit and cuts in public spending’ and for being a ‘rank and file member of the EEPTU.’ For this he was refused work by 3223/F in 2001, 25 years after he appeared on the list for attending a rally.
- · Another electrician blacklisted by Balfour Kilpatrick for supporting the action at Pfizer had an additional note put on the file by Michael Aird: ‘Probably allowed principles to govern his head.’ For having ‘principles’ he was refused work by Balfour Kilpatrick when he applied to work on the Pfizer contract. Another note added by TCA stated that this person had written a letter to the Morning Star.
- · Balfour Kilpatrick spent over £49,000 with TCA between 1996 and 2009, Paul Raby joined them in 1996.
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. See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said, 'Paul Raby 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.'
Contact Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823
For information on High Court action contact Leigh Day: David Standard 07540 332717 or Michael Newman 0795 223 9358 or Chris Benson on 07795425649.
For people to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on 07840 897997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group