Blacklisted workers stage protest

27 August 2009 01:21
Building workers who claim they are being denied jobs because of an illegal blacklist have protested outside a £350m shopping development.The men believe their union activities are being used against them by firms involved in the Rock Triangle project in Bury, Greater Manchester. [LNB]They were among 3,213 workers named on an illegal database which was exposed in court last month. [LNB]Laing O'Rourke, main contractor at the site, has denied the claims. [LNB]"We do not discriminate against any individuals for any reason in their employment and that is the clear policy across all our business units," said a spokesman. [LNB]The company was one of more than 40 which paid for access to the database of 3,213 workers run by businessman Ian Kerr, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said. [LNB][LNB] Because of my past as a trade union representative I am persona non grata on these sites Colin Trousedale, electrician He was fined £5,000 at Knutsford Crown Court in July after pleading guilty in May to breaching the Data Protection Act. [LNB]The database included names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and details of whether an individual had any connection to trade union activity. [LNB]Its operation was suspended under the data protection laws and further regulations to outlaw such secret blacklists are to be introduced later in 2009. [LNB]But local workers protesting outside the Rock Triangle project on Thursday claimed they had been denied work on the site because of their appearance on the database. [LNB]The massive development, which covers 50,000 square metres, will bring shops, restaurants and 400 apartments to the town and is due to open next summer. [LNB][LNB]Kerr was fined £5,000 for running the databaseColin Trousedale, from Bury, has 35 years experience in the electrical contracting industry but has been refused a job on the site. [LNB]"It's a local site to me. I would like employment on the site and I'm being blatantly refused. I feel it is by virtue of the fact I am on the blacklist," he said. [LNB]"Because of my past as a trade union representative I am persona non grata on these sites. They just won't allow me on the sites. [LNB]"How do I feed my family? How do I pay my bills? I can't. I'm on benefits by virtue of the fact I've stood up and said this is wrong."

Source: BBC_Sport