You can read 9 more articles this month
MAJOR industrial strife on Crossrail has been averted after Unite members secured the reinstatement of an electrician suspected of having faced fresh blacklisting.
Workers had raised fears over the dismissal of Martin Overy, a former Unite safety representative, who was sacked almost immediately after getting a job at Paddington station.
Mr Overy, whose name was included on the Consulting Association’s notorious blacklist, was sacked five hours after signing a contract with Site Operative Solutions Limited.
He received compensation for having been blacklisted in 2016, but has been unable to find work since.
The Star understands that workers believed that Skanska, the company that controls Paddington, may have sought to get rid of him.
However, following a meeting this week with Unite official Guy Langston, Mr Overy was reinstated and will return to work next week.
In 2016, Skanska was compelled to formally apologise for its role in blacklisting workers.
The Crossrail consortium Bam Ferrovial Kier faced accusations of blacklisting in 2012 following the dismissal of Unite shop steward Frank Morris, which led to widespread industrial action and protest until he was reinstated a year later.
Blacklist Support Group joint secretary and Unite executive council member Roy Bentham said: “This demonstrates that this union can defend its blacklisted members.
“In an industry with such an appalling fatality record, workers who are prepared to raise concerns about safety should be valued.
“But instead, the treatment of Martin Overy seems a blatant case of blacklisting.
“The willingness of the rank and file to take action was never in question, and was central to Martin’s reinstatement.”
A spokesperson for Skanska said: “We can confirm that Skanska is not engaged in any covert vetting or blacklisting and is not aware of this continuing in the British construction industry.
“We recognise and support employees’ rights to form or join trade unions and we take a proactive approach to building good relationships with the unions.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.