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Crossrail contractor faces legal claim for blacklisting

Crossrail contractor faces legal claim for blacklisting

26 February 2013

Unite is supporting Frank Morris, a construction worker sacked from the Crossrail project. Britain's biggest union believes he is the victim of a blacklisting conspiracy by the construction consortium Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK).

The claim against BFK, supported by Unite's legal services, will be heard in the London Central employment tribunal on Wednesday 27 February. The claim is being brought under the blacklisting regulations introduced in April 2010, after the blacklisting organisation, the Consulting Association, was raided in 2009 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and a blacklist was discovered.

In September  2012, Frank Morris - the Unite union representative at Crossrail - was dismissed and he believes the Crossrail consortium BFK is implicated. Unite believes his name is on a blacklist because he raised health and safety concerns when he was working at the Olympics site. 

Ian Kerr, the former chairman of the Consulting Association, has admitted having discussions with Crossrail. Both Bam and Kier are known subscribers to the Consulting Association blacklisting services. 

Ron Barron, the head of industrial relations at Crossrail has now been sacked after it was discovered that he was a leading blacklister.  It has also been revealed that Pat Swift, BFK's head of human resources on the Crossrail project, was the main contact between the construction company BAM Nutall and the Consulting Association.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Unite does not subscribe to the view that blacklisting in the construction industry ended when the existence of the shady blacklister the Consulting Association was finally uncovered back in 2009. There is significant evidence that blacklisting continued, even on Crossrail - Britain's most high profile construction project.

"Frank Morris has our full support. Blacklisting is a national scandal and Unite is determined to support its members. Too many construction workers have had their lives ruined just because they had concerns over health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries or just because they belonged to a trade union.

"There needs to be a full and transparent investigation, backed by statutory powers, into all the allegations associated with the sordid spying enterprise called the Consulting Association."

ENDS

Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.