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October Date In High Court

Friday, July 11, 2014

High Court Sets Hearing For October In Action For Compensation For 3,214 Blacklisted Construction Workers

We are delighted that the court now takes the view that there should be no more artificial delays and the litigation now needs to progress to a rapid conclusion to achieve justice for blacklisted workers says GMB.


GMB issued a statement following the the hearing in the High Court on 10th July. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release re High Court hearing of July 10th.

Maria Ludkin GMB National Officer for legal and corporate affairs said "The High Court agrees with our applications on  July10th for progression of a group litigation order and anonymity for the claimants to ensure that the blacklisting litigation now proceeds and at a reasonable pace.

Despite numerous objections from the lawyers for the construction companies, the High Court master set a calendar  to clarify legal and factual issues before  the next case management hearing in October.

GMB is are delighted that the court now takes the view that there should be no more artificial delays and the litigation now needs to progress to a rapid conclusion to achieve justice for blacklisted workers."

End

Contact Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823  or Leigh Day: David Standard 07540 332717 or Michael Newman 0795 223 9358 or Chris Benson on 07795425649.

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release of 9th July

GMB HIGH COURT ACTION FOR COMPENSATION BEGINS ON JULY 10TH OVER BLACKLISTING BY CARILLION AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION FIRMS OF 3,213 WORKERS

Last week's unilateral scheme will become a side-show as Carillion and others are called to account in public for 15 years of lying and spying with the eyes of the world watching them says GMB

Law firm Leigh Day, acting for GMB union for construction workers, will begin action in the High Court in London tomorrow (July 10) seeking compensation for 122 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers. The claims were served on 27th November 2013. GMB’s claims are joined with a further 449 claims by other unions and parties.

Talks between GMB and lawyers representing construction employers on a compensation scheme for 3,213 blacklisted workers broke down last month over the amount of money being put into the scheme by the employers.

Last week the employers announced that they were unilaterally going ahead with a scheme GMB estimates will cost these employers between £15m and £20m. This is less than 2% of the combined profits of the eight construction firms in the talks. See table below for revenues and profits for 2013 for all the blacklisting firms.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists.

In October 2013 eight blacklisting companies (Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC) announced that they were setting up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme (TCWCS) to compensate the victims they blacklisted. Pinsents Masons represent the eight blacklisting companies.

So far 1,724 out of the 3,213 on the list know they are on blacklist. 467 were identified by themselves on by their unions. 570 cases are covered by claims in the High Court. ICO contacted direct a further 1,257 and of these 776 has now been sent a copy of their files.  That leaves 1,489 still to trace. On 15th April the ICO said: “We don’t plan to write out to any more people, as we believe we’ve written to everyone who we can be sure of having up-to-date details for.” See notes to editors for details of where those blacklisted come from.

BLACKLISTING FIRMS REVENUES AND PRE TAX PROFITS

 

 

revenue

profit before tax

 

 

£m

£m

Balfour Beatty plc

 

10,118

187.0

Carillion

 

3,332.6

174.7

Costain

 

960

31.0

Kier Group plc

 

1,983

63.4

Laing O'Rourke

 

3,566.9

77.9

Sir Robert McAlpine1

 

769.3

20.5

Skanska AB2

 

12,428.6

484.4

Vinci plc3

 

1,056.8

4.9

Subtotal

 

34,215.2

1,043.8

       

AMEC plc

 

3,974.0

255

Amey Construction7

 

1.8

0.3

Bam Construction4

 

837.9

11.3

Bam Nuttall4

 

730.1

18.1

EMCOR Group5

 

339.9

6.7

Galliford Try plc

 

1,467.0

74.1

Hardwicke Investments Ltd

 

1,034.0

8.9

Morgan Sindall Group plc

 

2,094.9

13.9

NG Bailey Group Ltd

 

421.6

-10.1

Renew Holdings

 

334.6

10.7

Shepherd Building Group Ltd

 

748.0

13

SPIE6

 

182.5

-17.4

Sunley Holdings plc

 

11.1

0.9

Taylor Wimpey plc

 

2,295.5

268.4

The Miller Group

 

817.3

14.4

Diamond Construction & Engineering Recruitment Ltd

 

abbreviated accounts only

Al Rushaid Investment Co

     

Samsung Construction and Trading

     

Subtotal

 

4,389.0

290.0

       

TOTAL

 

38,604.2

1,333.8


Justin Bowden, GMB national officer said: "In the High Court tomorrow, GMB's top class team of lawyers begins the job of securing millions of pounds in compensation for the 3,213 blacklisted building workers and environmental activists.

Last week's pitiful attempt to buy off their victims on the cheap will quickly become a side-show as Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert McAlpine and their blacklisting construction mates are called to account in public for 15 years of lying and spying with the eyes of the world watching them."

Michael Newman, Leigh Day solicitor said: “The companies are determined to try to delay and stall these cases so that they can paint their compensation scheme as the only reasonable alternative despite it not being agreed by any union or claimant group.

To claim that the timing of the compensation scheme is unrelated to the court hearing is untenable, as is the companies’ attempt to say there is nothing in common between all the cases brought by people who had personal information stored on The Consulting Association (TCA) database. We are confident that the court will ignore the last-minute launch of the compensation scheme as irrelevant and will instead focus on the merits of the cases of those blacklisted worker denied years of employment.”

End

Contact Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or Maria Ludkin 07956 632 657 or GMB press office at 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

For people to identify more names on the blacklist call please call Phil Read at GMB on  07840 897997 or email him blacklisted@gmb.org.uk 

Contact Dave Smith 07882 579 452 re Blacklist Support Group

Notes to editors

1 Where blacklisted workers came from.

Blacklisted workers – number in each area

       

Location

Number on the blacklist

 

Location

Number on the blacklist

 
 

Aberdeen City

14

 

Kent

95

Aberdeenshire

54

 

Kingston upon Hull

62

Anglesey

3

 

Lancashire

60

Angus

5

 

Leeds

53

Argyll & Bute

7

 

Leicestershire

5

Bath and North East Somerset

1

 

Lincolnshire

13

Bedfordshire

4

 

Manchester

183

Berkshire

2

 

Merseyside

173

Birmingham

69

 

Midlothian

3

Bristol

25

 

Monmouthshire

9

Buckinghamshire

20

 

Norfolk

7

Cambridgeshire

12

 

North Ayrshire

67

Cardiff

10

 

North Lanarkshire

22

Ceredigion

9

 

North Yorkshire

12

Cheshire

64

 

Northamptonshire

14

City of London

454

 

Northern Ireland

1

Clackmannanshire

3

 

Northumberland

7

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

3

 

Nottinghamshire

12

Cumbria

27

 

Orkney Islands

1

Denbighshire

34

 

Oxfordshire

8

Derbyshire

16

 

Perth & Kinross

2

Devon

19

 

Powys

2

Dorset

8

 

Redcar and Cleveland

43

Dumfries & Galloway

6

 

Renfrewshire

15

Dundee City

21

 

Rhondda Cynon Taf

2

Durham

11

 

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

3

East Ayrshire

18

 

Rotherham

56

East Lothian

1

 

Shropshire

2

East Riding of Yorkshire

16

 

Somerset

5

East Sussex

8

 

South Lanarkshire

16

Edinburgh, City of

52

 

Southern Ireland

1

Essex

57

 

Staffordshire

16

Falkirk

35

 

Stirling

7

Fife

24

 

Suffolk

9

Glasgow City

140

 

Surrey

32

Gloucestershire

32

 

Swansea

15

Gwynedd

12

 

Tyne & Wear

69

Hampshire

50

 

Warwickshire

1

Hereford & Worcester

3

 

West Dunbartonshire

8

Hertfordshire

14

 

West Lothian

12

Highland

15

 

West Sussex

11

Inverclyde

26

 

Wiltshire

5

Isle of Wight

1

 

Wokingham

10

2 footnotes to construction firms profits

1 accounts for parent company, Newarthill Ltd
2 converted from Swedish Krona 1SEK = 0.091£
SEK figures Revenue = SEK M 136,488
SEK figures Profit before tax = SEK M 5,320
3 figures for Vinci Construction UK
4 both parent companies now Royal Bam Group NV
5 data for Emcor (UK) Ltd
6 data for SPIE Matthew Hall
7 Parent company Ferrovial with turnover of €8,166m

 

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