Socialist Worker

Judge dismisses anti-terror case against blacklisted worker as 'fantasy'

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2174

A bizarre attempt by the bosses to use the anti-terror laws against a blacklisted construction worker was dismissed as fantasy by a judge today (Wednesday).

Scottish and Southern Energy tried to serve an injunction on electrician Steve Acheson but the case was dismissed at the High Court.

The firm wanted to ban him from holding peaceful protests at Fiddlers Ferry power station, Cheshire, where he worked until his sacking in December.

The company claimed Steve’s protest was “a threat to the energy supplies of this country” and accused him of “inciting” the workforce to commit acts contrary to the national interest.

Gaby Dosanjh-Pahil, representing Scottish and Southern Energy, argued that Steve should be restrained from trespassing on grass verges outside the perimeter fence of the power station. She said he posed a nuisance to people using the entrance road.

However, High Court judge Justice Mann said the claims that Steve posed a threat to the security of the power station were “fanciful to the point of paranoia”.

Justice Mann added, 'This court exists to grant injunctions in urgent cases. It does not exist to grant injunctions which might be thought to be convenient to applicants.'

Steve has been protesting outside the security fence of Fiddlers Ferry power station in Warrington, Cheshire, since last December after he was sacked by subcontractor BMSL.

Steve is one of the 3,000 names on a construction industry blacklist used by the industry's biggest companies.

According to Steve, 'I am just so relieved, what they tried to do was diabolical.

'I have been protesting for the past 44 weeks. It is only in the past couple of months they have suddenly taken a dislike to it.

'This has had a big impact on my wife and my children. I want to get back into work, so I will continue protesting back at the site.'

'Work has been very hard to come by because of my name being on this blacklist, I am not a troublemaker.

'In the past four years I have worked just 16 weeks. Before my name appeared on this list I had regular work, no problem.'

The judge awarded costs to Steve.

A number of blacklisted construction workers attended the hearing and held a solidarity protest before the hearing.

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Article information

Wed 21 Oct 2009, 21:39 BST
Issue No. 2174
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