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Campaign against 'blacklisting' Chicago airpor...

Campaign against ‘blacklisting’ Chicago airport bidder goes stateside

13 August 2013

A delegation from Britain’s largest union, Unite, is in Chicago today (Tuesday 13 August) lobbying councillors and decision makers involved in the Chicago Midway Airport privatisation about Ferrovial’s involvement in ‘blacklisting’ on the London Crossrail project.

The Spanish company, part of a consortium shortlisted to take over Chicago’s airport, is involved in the BFK (Bam Ferrovial Kier) joint venture on the Crossrail project which stands accused of blacklisting Unite shop steward Frank Morris.

Urging Chicago decision makers to ‘think again’ about selling to Ferrovial, the delegation will brief councillors and hold a picket to raise public awareness at Chicago city hall tomorrow (Wednesday 14 August) from 12 noon Chicago time.

The decision makers will hear how in September 2012 sub-contracting company EIS was removed by BFK from the Crossrail project and 28 workers made redundant. EIS had been employed by BFK to complete essential electrical work, but Unite’s evidence points to the EIS contract being terminated to remove Unite’s shop steward and prevent trade union activity.

The delegation will also highlight the payola scandal in Spain and Judge Josep Maria Pijuan’s ruling that Ferrovial had paid out €5.1 million in kickbacks disguised as payments for sponsorship of the Palau de la Música to the ruling Catalan CDC party in exchange for public contracts.

Unite’s campaign to reinstate Frank Morris is supported by US unions including the Teamsters, UFCW, USW and the SEIU.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “We would urge Chicago’s decision makers to think long and hard about Ferrovial until it has answered some serious questions about its behaviour on the Crossrail project.

“Victimising trade unionists and blacklisting are an attack on basic human rights. Ferrovial needs to demonstrate it is not involved in blacklisting and reinstate Unite’s shop steward Frank Morris.”

Joe Hansen, UFCW president, added: “We will do all we can to help our British sister union in its fight against blacklisting. Ferrovial clearly has serious questions to answer about the human rights issue of blacklisting in the Britain.”

ENDS

For further information contact Alex Flynn, Unite head of media and campaigns, on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665 869.

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.42 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey