Socialist Worker

GMB sues the Blacklisters

Issue No. 2356

The GMB union has lodged claims in the High Court for compensation on behalf of 70 blacklisted construction workers.

The action alleges an unlawful conspiracy by the construction firms that used the services of the Consulting Association (CA).

The union, which is holding its annual conference in Plymouth this week, is also bringing defamation claims against the firms.

The conspiracy claim focuses on Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine. But the defamation claims would be against whichever contractor gave CA the details of the claimant.

The legal action follows a separate High Court claim being prepared by other lawyers on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group.

Maria Ludkin, GMB national officer said, “Finally construction companies will be called to account for their systematic campaign to wipe out union organisation on construction sites.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are nearly 3,000 other workers with claims.

Conference

Delegates at the GMB conference warned that the future of the NHS is under threat. 

They pointed to cuts to hospitals and community centres, thousands of jobs slashed and private companies already running parts of the health service for profit.

These changes will be accelerated by the government’s Health and Social Care Act.

GMB members called for a national demonstration to help coordinate and build the growing campaigns defending the health service, such as Keep Our NHS Public.

GMB’s national NHS organiser Rehana Azam said, “Cuts, fragmentation, privatisation and attacks on pay and conditions outlined in Agenda for Change are the most significant threats to our health service and its 

workers.” Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham also spoke at the conference 

In response to Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls’ speech on Monday on the economy Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary said, “Delegates at GMB Congress are disturbed that Mr Balls was arguing for continuing this government’s austerity plans for at least two years after the next election and possibly beyond.

“What makes this a really perplexing speech is because everyone who wants to support Labour is crying out for a new hope and a new direction. 

“Saying so far in advance of the next election that Labour will do nothing substantially different until at least 2017 shows a complete absence of aspiration for ordinary working families.”

watch this site for more reports of the GMB conference


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News
Tue 4 Jun 2013, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2356
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