HR professionals blacklist exposed

1. High Court

The High Court Blacklisting Group Litigation show trial was back at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday. The lively protest outside the court was joined by Steve Rotheram MP, National Shop Stewards Network, Unite the Resistance and social justice activist Caroline Murphy. (Pix attached).

With 17 wigs including a gaggle of QCs, 20+ solicitors, company spies and dozens of blacklisted workers wearing very visible BLACKLISTED t-shirts, the public gallery was packed. Just in case anyone was in any doubt about the political importance of the trial, at least 2 members of the Labour Party NEC were in attendance. The case was transferred in the afternoon to a courtroom twice the size as elderly blacklisted workers have to stand throughout the morning session in a courtroom that was much too small.

The day was fairly procedural, the main topic of argument being the refusal by the firms to disclose any evidence. The firms have 13 years of minutes, correspondence and invoices from the Consulting Association but to date have refused to disclose a single document. In previous legal proceedings, some of the firms have actually argued that the minutes do not even exist. Much of the evidence was destroyed immediately after the ICO raid in 2009. The firms are attempting every possible delaying tactic in order to not have to disclose the documents they hold. The reason is clear, as Hugh Tomlinson QC told the court, this would provide “smoking gun” evidence of the unlawful conspiracy. Master Leslie ruled that both sides should present a report to the court by December 3rd indicating what documents they are prepared to disclose and what they are not prepared to disclose.

Lead Counsel for the blacklisted workers: Hugh Tomlinson QC, John Hendy QC, Guy Vassal-Adams, John Samson. There are now around 400 blacklisted claimants against 33 respondent companies. It was revealed in court that many of the claims for loss of earnings are in excess of £330,000 – final settlement would be likely to also include an additional payment to cover defamation, hurt to feelings, human rights violations.

The next trial date was set for 17th December and another for Feb 2015 (tbc).

2. Laing O’Rourke protest
Blacklisted workers assaulted during peaceful protest at Laing O’Rourke

Video reportage from Reel News:

3. GMB Crocodile Tears Tour
GMB union have launched a tour targeting the HR professionals and industrial relations managers who were the ‘main contacts’ between the Consulting Association and the blacklisting firms.
Check out when they are in your area and make sure you get down there to join the fun. They’ve got a real crocodile (maybe)

The Chartered Institute of Personell and Development (CIPD) is the professional body for HR in the UK. 61 leading academics involved in teaching and research of employment relations have sent a letter of complaint to the CIPD about the lack of disciplinary action taken against the CIPD members named in parliamant as personally involved in blacklisting.

Blacklist Support Group send a message of thanks to Professor Jane Holgate and the other signatories for organsing this open letter (below):
To: Mr Peter Cheese

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

151 The Broadway, London, SW19 1JQ

15 October 2014

Dear Peter

Most of the signatories below teach in the area of HRM and many are

professional/academic members of CIPD (others are CIPD members and HR

practitioners, or retired CIPD members) and we would like to raise a

concern we have about HR professionals who have been implicated in

blacklisting practices against workers in the construction industry.

We understand that 34 HR professionals have been named in Parliament as

being the managers who used the blacklist on a day-to-day basis and that

some of these may be CIPD members.

We also believe that you, as chief executive of the CIPD, have also

given evidence to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee

inquiry into blacklisting where you told the committee that, if asked,

you would reveal which of the blacklisters were members of the

professional body. We understand that the trade union the GMB have

written to you about this but have yet to receive a response.

We are concerned that blacklisting is not only discriminatory due to

trade union activities or because of individuals raising health and

safety concerns, but that it has destroyed the careers and livelihoods

of a considerable number of workers: this is unacceptable behaviour and

not worthy of any HR professional and which seriously contravenes the

CIPD’s own professional code of conduct. Further, as academics, we all

teach on or are responsible for CIPD programmes which put an emphasis on

ethical practice and the core issue here is that seemingly members of

the association have contravened the right to freedom of association,

one of ILO’s core labour standards.

The Scottish Affairs Committee has said companies that have been caught

blacklisting should undertake a process of ‘self-cleaning’; we believe

this should also apply to the CIPD if we are to maintain credibility as

a professional organization.

We would therefore request that you launch an investigation into whether

any of the people included in the list below are current or former

members of CIPD.

If this is found to be the case they should be expelled from CIPD

membership. Further we would ask that there is full disclosure of any

investigation (who carried out the investigation, who was investigated

and who refused to participate and whether or not sanctions were

applied) and that this is made publicly available to CIPD members.

We would appreciate a speedy response to our letter.

Yours sincerely

Professor Jane Holgate, University of Leeds
Professor Miguel Martinez Lucio, University of Manchester

Professor Edmund Heery, Cardiff University

Professor Melanie Simms, University of Leicester

Professor Geraldine Healy, Queen Mary, University of London

Dr James Richards, Heriot-Watt University

Professor Irena Grugulis, University of Leeds

Professor Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde

Professor Mark Stuart, University of Leeds

Dr Paul Brooks, University of Leicester

Dr Jo Grady, University of Leicester

Professor Ralph Darlington, University of Salford

Professor Bob Carter, University of Leicester

Dr Andrew Smith, University of Bradford

Dr Lesley Mearns, University of Sunderland

Dr Ana Lopes, University of the West of England
Chris Ball, Chief Executive, TAEN – The Age and Employment Network

Joe England, retired
Assistant Professor, Fuat MAN Sakarya University Faculty of Management

Dr Debbie Foster, Cardiff Business School

Prof. Marek Korczynski University of Nottingham

Dr Nick Creaby-Attwood, Northumbria University

Dr Hazel Conley, Queen Mary, University of London

Tracy Walsh, Ruskin College

Professor Tony Dundon, NUI Galway

Dr Liz Oliver, University of Leeds

Professor Chris Forde, University of Leeds

Professor Martin Upchurch, Middlesex University Business School

Sue Ledwith, Emeritus Scholar, Ruskin College

Professor Sonia McKay, London Metropolitan University

Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds

Professor Sian Moore, University of the West of England

Professor Stephanie Tailby, University of the West of England
Dr Tessa Wright, Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Steve Jeffries, London Metropolitan University

Anne Jones, University of Sheffield

Roger Walden, University of Manchester
Dr Ian Greenwood, University of Leeds
Dr Michael Richardson, University of the West of England

Dr Horen Voskeritsian, University of the West of England

Dr Sue Abbott, Northumbria University

Professor Keith Whitfield, Cardiff University

Professor Stephen A. Linstead, University of York

Professor Rob McKenzie, University of Leeds

Professor Jenny Tomlinson, University of Leeds

Professor Frank Burchill, University of Tasmania

Professor Sue Corby, University of Greenwich
Emeritus Professor Jeff Hyman, University of Aberdeen
Dr Leonard Holmes, University of Roehampton Business School

Dr Ron Beadle, Northumbria University

Dr Mike Rigby, London South Bank University

Mr Roger M Walden, University of Manchester Business School

Dr Deborah Dean, Warwick Business School

Dr Kathy Hartley, Salford Business School, University of Salford

Jonathan Lord, Salford Business School, University of Salford

Dr Dave Redfern, Salford Business School, University of Salford

Dr Sudi Sharifi, Salford Business School, University of Salford

Professor Phil Almond, De Montfort University

Dr Brian Garvey, Dept Human Resources, University of Strathclyde

Chibuzo Ejiogu, PGR, University of Strathclyde
Emerita Professor Anna Pollert, University of the West of England.

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