Thursday, July 16, 2009

Illegal blacklister given slap on the wrist

Incredible. A court has found that an illegal database was used by more than 40 construction firms to vet 3,213 workers. The list, which was used to blacklist workers involved in trade union activity, has been responsible for ruining the livelihoods of goodness knows how many construction workers.

The company, known as the Consulting Association, was set up by a number of construction companies and Ian Kerr, 66, of Avoncroft Road, Stoke Heath, Worcestershire had run the list for around fifteen years, making half a million pounds in the last five years alone.

Kerr was fined five thousand pounds for ruining people's lives over fifteen years. Just over three hundred pounds a year then. Laughable.

The BBC tells us that "Mike Abbott, 77, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, was named on the list in the late 1970s and said he was only offered two jobs in one five-year period.

"I couldn't feed my children because of that list and all Kerr gets is a £5,000 fine," he said. "I am very angry about what he did to me and many others. But he was just a front for all this."

After the hearing Kerr's car was surrounded by construction workers as he tried to drive away and one of whom screamed "Are you proud of yourself are you?"

More to the point is the law proud of itself? It may as well come out and say it approves of union busting - five thousand pounds is just an insult.


PhilC said...

The sentencing was at the crown court because magistrates had earlier decided their powers to fine were "wholly inadequate".
Yet, they could not have fined him more than £5,000. So, what was the point of moving the trial?
The only thing it 'proved' was that the operation was set up by the Economic League and run by construction firms. But we'd established that already.
The court heard that between 2006 and 2009 nearly £500,000 was paid to Kerr's operation by construction firms but he drew a salary of just £34,000 on average. He had a shabby two room office and three othe employees.
So where is the rest of the money?

ModernityBlog said...

well spotted Jim.

Anonymous said...

This is astonishing.

I hope you don't mind but I've posted this in full over at Left Outside because it pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. £5,000 pounds in an insult.

It is fairly clear that class war is real. And it seems blindingly obvious that we are losing.

Laban said...

Can I take it you don't approve of blacklisting people from jobs because of their political activities ?

Laban said...

PhilC - "a salary of just £34,000 on average"

JUST £34,000 ?

Phil - I don't know what you do for a living, but are there any vacancies ?

Jim Jepps said...

Laban - I'm against people being sacked for being active in the union.

It might be completely appropriate to sack someone for something they call 'Political activities' but actually conflicts with their ability to do their job (like being a racist or homophobe).

Anonymous said...

@Laban "Can I take it you don't approve of blacklisting people from jobs because of their political activities?"

It's not so much that I don't approve of blacklisting. It's just that I'm pretty much in favour of the basic and fundamental right to associate. That includes political organisation and unions, especially unions.