Police-MI5 worked to blacklist trade unionists!

Carillion strikers at Swindon Hospital allege very bad treatment from their employer
Carillion strikers at Swindon Hospital allege very bad treatment from their employer

It has emerged that the police, MI5 and other security services supplied information to a blacklist compiled for and funded by Carillion and other construction companies to prevent the employment of trade unionists.

The evidence emerged during an employment tribunal on January 17th that information on an employers’ group blacklist ‘could only have been supplied by police or security services’.

Construction giant Carillion admitted former UCATT safety rep Dave Smith was blacklisted because of his trade union activities and efforts to improve site safety.

However, the tribunal ruled that Carillion could not be held liable because agency workers do not enjoy the same legal protection as directly employed staff.

The tribunal had heard an admission by Carillion (previously John Mowlem) subsidiary Schal International and forerunner Tarmac that the qualified engineer was blacklisted.

The tribunal heard that between 1999 and 2004 Mowlem paid £20,444 to the Consulting Association, which ran the blacklist.

A secret blacklist file collated by The Consulting Association was presented to the tribunal as evidence and contained Smith’s photograph, address, National Insurance number, work history, car registration, union credentials and information about his family.

The blacklist file was covertly shared amongst the 44 largest construction firms in the UK and resulted in periods of unemployment.

Former police officer David Clancy, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) head of investigations who exposed The Consulting Association’s activities, told the tribunal under oath: ‘There is information on The Consulting Association files that I believe could only be supplied by the police or the security services.’

He also told the court that The Consulting Association held information on elected politicians, journalists, lawyers and academics.

Construction workers who have banded together in the Blacklist Support Group say the evidence revealed in court is ‘almost certain’ to become a key element in a larger ‘class action’ style claim being brought to the High Court by 100 blacklisted workers in the next few months.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that records that could only have come from the police or MI5 were discovered in a vast database of files held on 3,200 victims who were deemed left-wing or troublesome following a raid in Droitwich in 2009.

The Consulting Association was closed down and a 66-year-old private investigator, Ian Kerr, was fined £5,000 for administering the database, although the construction firms who funded the association escaped prosecution.

‘I’m not surprised that Carillion had a blacklist after the evidence I’ve seen of the way Carillion treats its workers at Great Western Hospital in Swindon,’ GMB regional organiser Carole Vallelly told News Line yesterday.

She said: ‘It’s a disgrace that companies are penalising workers over their lawful trade union activities.’

GMB members at Great Western Hospital employed by Carillion have been conducting a series of strikes over alleged bullying and harassment.

Vallelly added: ‘If it is true, it is worrying that police supplied such information.’

Construction worker Mick Dooley told News Line: ‘It was blatantly obvious from my own blacklist file that the police supplied information.

‘The state colluding with employers is nothing new. It undermines the “policing with consent” role sold to the British public.

‘Trade unions should have their own blacklist of employers and employers’ personnel.

‘They should start treating them with the same hostility and contempt that employers treat trade unions and their members.’