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Olympic blacklisting allegations

Frank Morris speaks out: The demonstration outside the Olympic site on 1st March called in solidarity with the courageous whistleblower sacked for standing up for an illegally blacklisted workmate.Frank Morris speaks out: The demonstration outside the Olympic site on 1st March called in solidarity with the courageous whistleblower (centre) sacked for standing up for an illegally blacklisted workmate.

The Blacklist Support Group - set up to help those people affected by the construction industry blacklist - has released information on a case which it says shows the scandal is still occuring. In a statement the group says:

Enfield based electrician Frank Morris has been sacked from working on the prestigious Media Centre at the Olympics after blowing the whistle on the use of an illegal blacklist on the construction project.

Frank's dismissal by Daletech Services followed weeks of intimidation and threats of violence by members of senior management after Frank Morris had raised concerns about the dismissal of a co-worker. The co-worker was dismissed from the Olympics Media Centre being built by Skanska and Carillion after his name appeared on a blacklist of trade union members. Frank raised concerns about this illegal practice and was victimised, bullied, threatened with violence by senior management to the point that Frank had to call the police for his own protection before finally being dismissed.

Supporters protested at the Marshgate Lane entrance to the Olympic site at 7am on Tuesday March 1st calling for Morris's reinstatement.

As the support group point out, Skanska and Carillion were two of the major building contractors exposed for using an illegal blacklist of trade union members following a raid on the premsies of the Consulting Association by the government's Information Commissioners Office in 2009.
The Consulting Association collated a secret database of trade union members on behalf of 44 multi-national construction firms who funded, supplied information and directed the workings of the blacklist. The Consulting association database was declared illegal following the successful prosecution in 2009. Invoices siezed during the raid show that Skanska alone paid over £28,000 a year to use the blacklist. Skanska have conceded that 30 of their senior managers participated in the Consulting Association operation. There are currently Employment Tribunal cases against Skanska, Carrillion and Daletech because of the blacklisting scandal.

Frank Morris told the Blacklist Support Group:

"When I started August 2010 at the Olympic I was overjoyed. I bought into the Olympic dream and proud that I could be part of building of it. I was also guaranteeing myself a reasonable weekly wage in the worst recession since the great depression which was a lifeline to me and my family.

"Late last year, a fellow electrician was dismissed from site, this worker had an impeccable work record; 100% attendance and punctuality, he was earning a productivity bonus which meant he was achieving over and above his daily work target and he had an impeccable disciplinary record. I was in complete shock the project was in mid flow we were all looking at a minimum of at least 6 months work and the contractor we were working for seemed to have plenty of work in the pipeline for 2011.

"Later that same day, I was speaking to my electrical supervisor and asked what was the reason behind the dismissal. The reply was astonishing, he stated he was dismissed because his name has come up on a list that he was a union man and a known troublemaker. My electrical supervisor confirmed this again the following day. The other electrician had previously been a shop steward on another London construction project.

"I passed on this information to the sacked electrician and his trade union, so he could understand the real reason for his dismissal. During the subsequent appeal hearing, the name of the electrical supervisor in question and the conversation I had previously recalled was divulged. That was the end of my Olympic experience.

"I was immediately removed off site and transferred to Belmarsh Prison extension still working for Daletech Services with Skanska this time were the main contractor. I was forced to work in isolation (in contravention of the main contractors health and safety procedures), site management waged a campaign of intimidation and bullying against me. On 16th December 2010, I had to call the police and ask for protection as a senior electrical engineer threatened me with violence; he said was going to follow me off the site and assault me. I tried my best to resolve the issues using the company grievance procedure. For the next 6 weeks, I suffered daily examples of intimidation by site management. If I could of found another job at any time, I would of resigned: the fact was, I could not afford to leave.

"On 14th February 2011, the management told me to attend a disciplinary hearing and I was sacked. I had previously worked on numerous railway projects and was represented at the hearing by Steve Hedley (RMT union official). I was not sacked because of poor workmanship or lateness but because I raised concerns about the use of an illegal blacklist. My union is representing me in an Employment Tribunal claim. I am now unemployed."

Hedley said: "In over 25 years representing workers, I have never seen such a blatant stitch up."

This article is republished with permission from Phil Chamberlain, posted on February 24, 2011 © Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Original post on Taking Out The Trash

See also: Reinstate Frank Morris

See also: Construction Workers demonstrate

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