Blacklisters named (extended list); Court orders firms to produce blacklisting docs

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On the day that the Pitchford Inquiry opened into Undercover Policing (see also links at end of article) we publish an extended list of UK firms involved in blacklisting, as well as those companies named today in the High Court that have been ordered to produce documentary evidence of their blacklisting activities. 

Blacklisting of trade unionists, political protesters, etc has been going on for decades (and is still rife). The main blacklisting agency, until its demise in 1993, was the Economic League. Much of the EL’s work was taken over by the Consulting Association, led by Ian Kerr and which was closed down in 2009. Undercover police also infiltrated unions, according to testimony given earlier this year.

A. The court order

(Following based on information provided by the GMB union.)

Key individuals, who up to now have hidden inside the construction firms, will have to explain in detail how their blacklists were serviced and operated by them, says union GMB. Following a hearing in the High Court an application for disclosure of documents on behalf of blacklisted workers, including 126 GMB members, has proved successful. At the High Court hearing the majority of the companies argued that the disclosure exercise sought by the claimants would cost millions of pounds, and was impractical. Importantly, these companies also wanted to limit the number of people whose email accounts would be searched, and not to search other sources of electronic documents, such as desktop computers, laptops and mobile phones.

The court (the Honourable Mr Justice Supperstone and Master Leslie) rejected these arguments, saying they were “unimpressed” by the evidence the companies put forward.

The court decided five key points in the claimants’ favour:

·    searches would include desktop and laptop computers, and not just emails;

·    searches should include mobile phones and blackberrys for the period of time, in 2009, around the ICO raid of the Consulting Association;

·    documents should be individually reviewed (for certain individuals and time periods), rather than just using electronic “key word” searches; and,

·    searches should be conducted for PAs and assistants to the Chairmen of the Consulting Association (16 in total), and not just the 8 Chairman themselves.

·    26 key named individuals will have to supply detailed statements explaining their involvement with Consulting Association.

The companies are required to tell the blacklisted workers about the results of these searches by 30 October 2015, in preparation for the trial of the lead cases in May 2016.

The companies covered by the disclosure ruling are:

Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Skanska, Sir Robert McAlpine, Vinci, Amec, BAM, Cleveland Bridge and Lend Lease.

(The full list of companies subscribing to the Consulting Association is given below in an Appendix.)

Michael Newman, solicitor at Leigh Day, said “Blacklisting companies need to know that they cannot hide behind their hundreds of thousands of emails and archiving boxes, claiming that they cannot perform detailed searches about their involvement in the Consulting Association. It is farcical to suggest that searching electronic documents using terms such as “blacklisting” was going to be very productive, for an organisation such as the Consulting Association that thrived on secrecy and clandestine communications. The court’s order means that the claimants will now have the results of all these searches by 30th October, in good time for the trial in 2016.”

Maria Ludkin, GMB National Officer for legal and corporate affairs, said “At last the court has given a definitive ruling that key individuals, who up to now have hidden inside the construction companies, will have to explain in detail how the blacklist was serviced and operated by them. They will have to provide detailed search evidence showing how blacklisting information was used inside the companies either when it was submitted to or obtained from the Consulting Association. Further, the order for extensive searches for communications around the time of the ICO raid will at last shine a light on the level of conspiracy between the defendant companies as they tried to cover up their unlawful activities.”

B. Context:

Blacklisting was more widely publicised when in 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office seized a Consulting Association database 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.

Talks between GMB and construction employers (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down in June 2014 over the amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers. Employers unilaterally launched a cut price scheme (GMB estimates will cost less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms). Claims for compensation were served by law firm Leigh Day for GMB members. GMB’s claims were joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties at the High. There was a directions hearing on all 571 cases, beginning 17th December 2014, 13th February, 14th May and 14 July 2015.

So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 workers on the list know they are on blacklist. 467 were identified by themselves on by their unions. 571 cases are covered by claims in the High Court. ICO contacted direct a further 1,257 and of these 776 has now been sent a copy of their files.  That leaves 1,489 still to trace. See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

GMB have organized  “Crocodile Tears” protests at 16 locations across the UK to shame 63 construction industry managers named as blacklisters, who have yet to come clean and apologise for their actions. A third leg in the protest tour is being planned for the coming autumn.

(For more on blacklisting – its history and how it works today, see: Blacklisting, a book by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain, and Spies at Work, by Mike Hughes.)

C. Naming the blacklisters:

The following are the managers named as blacklisters, visited as part of Crocodile Tears Tour 2014/15. (Most derived from initials from files of those blacklisted.)

  • Michael Aird (MA) – Balfour Kilpatrick – Glasgow;
  • Kathy Almansoor (KA) – Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
  • Dave Aspinall (DA) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Alan Audley (AA) – Vinci – Watford
  • John Ball (JB) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Ron Barron (RB) – CB & I – Tonbridge, Kent
  • Valerie Bennison (VB) – Whessoe – Darlington
  • Ernie Boswell (EB) – Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
  • Richard Bull (RB) – HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
  • Iain Coates (IC) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
  • David Cochrane (DC) – Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Ann Cowrie (AC) – Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering – Edinburgh
  • Tony Crowther – AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
  • John Dangerfield (JD) – Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern – Basingstoke, Hampshire
  • Lynn Day (LD) – Cleveland Bridge UK – Darlington
  • John Dickinson (JD) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Frank Duggan (FD) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • John Edwards (JE) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Kevin Gorman (KG) – Carillion / Crown House – Solihull
  • Elaine Gallagher (EG) – Balfour Kilpatrick – Glasgow
  • Gerry Harvey (GH) – Balfour Kilpatrick – Glasgow
  • Roy Hay (RH) – Tarmac – Solihull
  • David Hillman – Sir Robert McAlpine – Birmingham
  • Keith Horner (KH) – Ballast Wiltshire
  • Dianne Hughes (DH) – Tarmac / Crown House  – Solihull
  • Geoff Hughes (GH) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
  • Greg Ingleton (GI) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
  • Prue Jackson (PJ) – Haden Young – Watford
  • Vince James (VJ) – Balfour Beatty Scottish & Southern – Basingstoke, Hampshire
  • Armar Johnston (AJ) – Balfour Kilpatrick – Livingstone
  • Liz Keates (LK) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Sheila Knight (SK) – Emcor – Kew Bridge, Twickenham
  • Ian Leake (IL) – Taylor Woodrow, Watford
  • Tim Llewellyn (TL) – Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd, Eastbourne, East Sussex
  • Alf Lucas (AL) – Mowlem
  • Bridget May (BM) – Nuttall – Camberley, Surrey
  • Cullum McAlpine – Sir Robert McAlpine – Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Paul McCreath (PM) – HBG Construction (BAM) – Colindale, London
  • Steve McGuire (SM) – Morgan Est plc – Warrington
  • John Morrison (JM) – Morrison Construction – Edinburgh
  • Arnold Nestler (AN) – AMEC – Knutsford, Cheshire
  • Lisa O’Mahoney (LOM) – Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
  • Danny O’Sullivan (DOS) – Kier Group – Sandy, Bedfordshire
  • Sandy Palmer (SP) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Harry Pooley (HP) – Rosser & Russell – Watford
  • Derek Price – Morgan Ashurst – Stratford upon Avon
  • Stephen Quant (SQ) – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Paul Raby (PR) – Balfour Kilpatrick – Glasgow
  • Murray Reid (MR) – NG Bailey – Ilkley, West Yorkshire
  • Roger Robinson (RR) – Carillion / Crown House – Wolverhampton
  • Sylvia Smith (SS) – Laing O’Rourke – Dartford, Kent
  • Trevor Spice (TS) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
  • Lisa Stevenson (LS) – Shepherd Engineering Services – York
  • John Stoddart (JS) – SIAS Building Services – Keighley
  • Alan Swift – Crown House Technologies – Manchester
  • Pat Swift (PS) – BAM Nuttall – Guildford
  • Alan Thorniley (AT) – Vinci – Watford
  • Brian Tock (BT) – Carillion / Crown House – Solihull
  • Ken Ward (KW) – Costain – Maidenhead, Berkshire
  • Trevor Watchman (TW) – Balfour Beatty Major Projects – Redhill, Surrey
  • Steve Wigmore – Crown House Technologies – Solihull
  • Allison Wilkins – Skanska – Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Carolyn Williams (CW) – Haden Young – Watford

D. Appendix

1. Companies that subscribed to the Consulting Association

Amec Building Ltd
Amec Construction Ltd
Amec Facilities Ltd
Amec Ind Div
Amec Process & Energy Ltd
Amey Construction – Ex Member
B Sunley & Sons – Ex Member
Balfour Beatty
Balfour Kilpatrick
Ballast (Wiltshire) PLc –Ex Member
Bam Construction (HBC Construction)
Bam Nuttall (Edmund Nutall Ltd)
C B & I Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd
Costain UK Ltd
Crown House Technologies (Carillion/Tarmac Const)
Diamond M & E Services
Dudley Bower & Co Ltd – Ex Member
Emcor (Drake & Scull) – ‘Ex Ref’
Emcor Rail
G Wimpey Ltd – Ex Member
Haden Young
Kier Ltd
John Mowlem Ltd – Ex Member
Laing O’Rourk (Laing Ltd)
Lovell Construction (UK) Ltd – Ex Member
Miller Construction Limited – Ex Member
Morgan Ashurst
Morgan Est
Morrison Construction Group – Ex Member
N G Bailey
Shepherd Engineering Services
Sias Building Services
Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd
Skanska (Kaverna/Trafalgar House Plc)
SPIE (Matthew Hall) – ex Member
Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd – ex Member
Turriff Construction Ltd –ex Member
Tysons Contractors – ex Member
Walter Llewellyn & Sons Ltd – ex Member
Whessoe Oil & Gas
Willmott Dixon – ex Member
Vinci PLC (Norwest Holst Group).

2. Companies that subscribed to the Economic League

Here is a list (pdf) of companies that were either known to be active subscribers to the Economic League (predecessor to the Consulting Association) or were linked to that organisation. (Document courtesy of Spies At Work website.)

Here is a longer  list of the above companies, which- additionally includes those companies identified as funding the Economic League. The list is very long: 600 companies.

See also:

Blacklisting and the role of social media and vetting agencies (private and govt)

Blacklisting and the police: the revolving door

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8 Responses to Blacklisters named (extended list); Court orders firms to produce blacklisting docs

  1. Philmcneilis says:

    Nice to see their names made public don’t suppose. Their too happy but never mind may be too thick skinned to even imagine the distress and hardship they have wreaked over all these years.

    Like

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  7. These are arsoles will have to face the music. They tried to destroy families and did not care what happened to those who they put on the list. So why should those who have a claim care what this case cost them. I hope it cost them loads.

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