View Full Version : Carillion

25-01-2012, 06:21 PM

A major multinational company has accepted that an engineer was covertly blacklisted because he was a trade unionist seeking to improve safety on building sites.
Dave Smith, an engineer, has launched legal action as he says his income fell dramatically from 35,000 a year to 12,000 after he was put on the clandestine blacklist of 3,200 workers run by leading construction firms.
The 46-year-old from Essex told a London employment tribunal on Tuesday that he was denied work after he raised safety concerns with construction firms. "I was a qualified engineer and during one of the longest building booms this country has ever known, my children were on milk tokens," he said.
He is taking legal action against the construction giant Carillion (http://www.carillionplc.com/), and two of its subsidiaries, in an attempt to recover 175,000 in lost earnings.
On Tuesday, Carillion (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/carillion?INTCMP=SRCH) accepted that Smith had been blacklisted but denied that it was legally responsible. The firm is arguing that it did not directly employ Smith as he secured work for its companies through an employment agency or subcontractor. Carillion (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/carillion)'s lawyers say the firm bought the two subsidiaries after they were involved in the blacklisting.
The existence of the secret blacklist was exposed in 2009, when investigators from a privacy watchdog (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/06/data-protection-construction-industry) raided an unassuming office in Droitwich, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/06/ian-kerr-data-protection?intcmp=239) Worcestershire.
The investigators uncovered (http://www.ico.gov.uk/news/current_topics/consulting_association.aspx) an extensive database that was used by construction firms to vet workers they deemed to be trade unionists and troublesome. For at least 15 years, more than 40 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/15/construction-industry-whistleblower-blacklisting-workers?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487) construction firms had been funding the confidential database, which recorded workers' trade union activities and conduct at work.
The watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, closed down the covert operation. A 66-year-old private investigator, Ian Kerr (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/27/construction-worker-blacklist-database1), was fined 5,000 for administering the database (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/16/companies-warning-trade-union-blacklist), although the construction firms escaped prosecution. Smith is one of a number of blacklisted workers taking legal action for compensation.
On Tuesday, Carillion admitted that two of its subsidiaries covertly supplied information to the database to "penalise" Smith for being a trade unionist, even though he had "reasonably brought health and safety concerns to their attention".
The tribunal was shown a copy of Smith's 17-page file from the blacklisting database. Stretching from 1992 to 2005, it contained detailed reports of his trade union activities and efforts to make building sites less dangerous all recorded without Smith's knowledge.
The file also included details such as his national insurance number, political work, photographs, his car and the place where his brother worked. At one point, Smith is described by a manager in a Carillion subsidiary as "small and talking like a younger Alf Garnett". Some of the information was described by Smith as a "crude smear", such as the false allegation that he could have been involved in an arson attack on a construction site.
Carillion now accepts that its subsidiaries covertly fed information to the blacklisting database and disguised the source through the use of secret code numbers.
Smith told the tribunal: "Carillion and its subsidiaries have worked together to penalise me because of my trade union activities and because I raised concerns about workers' safety on building sites.
"They passed on personal information about myself and my family members, causing major financial hardship to myself and my family."
Smith's legal action comes as up to 100 blacklisted workers are preparing to start legal action in the high court to win compensation. At least three workers have won employment tribunals (http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/employment-tribunals) and received up to 24,000 in damages.

25-01-2012, 08:31 PM
A very interesting yet disturbing post RB,

25-01-2012, 09:08 PM

Just shows that You cannot trust anybody these days!

25-01-2012, 10:30 PM
Never would trust the big C.

25-01-2012, 10:40 PM
an interesting read, obviously dollar driven. Mongrels.
Here the construction industry drive the OHS thing to the enth degree. Site Safe certificates and induction programs before stepping on any site, again dollar driven as larger companies have a self insurance /accident funding deal with the tax dept., so it costs the company extra for any and every incident or injury reported. Then the paper work starts. Even site servicing with larger companies can envolve a two day site safety induction program.
The stupid result of all this awarenes of safety is that the incident/ accident reports have increased due to people not thinking safety, because I'm cool it must be safe I've done the course.

26-01-2012, 01:17 AM
Never would trust the big C. speaking from experience Brian and their buy out of P*E, quite often when the giants do a buy out the tuped emplyees bail out as there are toooo many change's

26-01-2012, 04:56 AM
This post will hit nerves
Some out there will be thinking the justice is twisted and be enraged, perhaps even that justice would be if found wrong the directors of the alledged offending company should be linched or burnt at the stakes to set an example. The vicim taking a payout could be considered a bribe - the directors would not really be punished with removing so little of their funds, they need to be taught a lesson. I realise these type of thoughts may be a little radical but have a look at the other side of the coin - some of these directors are making profit form the deaths and accidents of constuction workers!