Monday, 29 July 2013

FRANK MORRIS & THE BLACKLISTING

Gail Cartmail and Len McCluskey of Unite are trying to aver that blacklisting is current and that Frank Morris is a contemporary victim. 

It may be, but as previously mentioned, I have serious reservations about the political motivations of some people in all this. 

This post should be read in conjunction with the 'CROSSRAIL & THE BLACKLISTING' post.

CROSSRAIL & THE BLACKLISTING 

Gail Cartmail's Evidence - 2 July 2013

In Gail Cartmails' evidence to the select committee she talks about Frank supposedly learning that his employer on Crossrail had concerns about his trade union activities:

GAIL CARTMAIL EVIDENCE 

At 14:52 Gail Cartmail states the following: "He was surprised. He'd never talked about trade unions. He'd never mentioned his trade union membership to any BFK personality. He decided to immediately protect his position by formalising his trade union role".

This statement will become more relevant later in this post as we learn more about Franks' disputes with employers on other projects.

Panorama Interviews

Panorama recently conducted interviews with Gail Cartmail and Frank Morris in which they discussed his experiences on the Crossrail project from 2012.

PANORAMA PROGRAMME

Gail Cartmail (24:06): "There is evidence that blacklisting is a contemporary problem, and, whilst I think it's unlikely that the industry would set up an organisation like the Consulting Association again, there is evidence that people are still active and busy, vetting and comparing names of lists they hold".

Interviewer: "This man, Frank Morris believes blacklisting is happening now, and that he is a victim".

Frank Morris: "My employment prospects have just gone from very good, always in work, to zero, nearly overnight".

It's important to note that this is a specific discussion about the Crossrail project and no other project is referred to.

At 25:50 we hear:

Interviewer: "Since then, Frank has found it impossible to find work". 

Frank: "I couldn't get a job cleaning toilets. I couldn't get a job anywhere in the construction industry".

Interviewer: "Are you saying you believe you were on a blacklist?".

Frank: "Yeah".

Frank goes on to talk about how they had no money and refers to his "missus screaming at him, saying, what have you done, what have you done?".

The Blacklisting Video - 2011

In December 2011, Frank Morris sent me and many others a link to a Youtube video via email. 

YOUTUBE VIDEO 

In this he's seen talking about his experiences on the Olympics project from 2010/2011.

At 18:35 Frank states "I got dismissed on the Olympics for blowing the whistle on the blacklist".

At 19:00 we see a demonstration in which Frank can be seen wearing a white 'Blacklisted' T shirt. 

The person on the loud hailer, Steve Hedley states "I represented Frank on his disciplinary" and goes on to talk about Frank being threatened.

So it appears from this footage that Frank was also dismissed from the Olympic project.

Frank then states: "Immediately after that I had six months out of work. Made 150 applications on the Internet. Over 140 applications through JIB companies and I hadn't received one job offer. Then I got a phone call from an employment agency. Oh, we've got a job for you at the Olympics. A week later I was dismissed. I was escorted off the site by two foremen".

It's always difficult to establish chronology from video footage, but it does appear from this footage that Frank was dismissed from the Olympics project, but then managed to find work on the project again six months later via an employment agency.

This begs the question, if Frank Morris was unfairly and illegally dismissed twice from the Olympic Project, then where were Gail Cartmail and Len McCluskey with all their legal and financial resources back then?

Frank says he was dismissed for "blowing the whistle on the blacklist", but a news article on Unite's website from 20 May this year states "Unite believes his name was on the blacklist because he raised health and safety concerns when he was working at the Olympics site".

UNITE NEWS ARTICLE

Either way, neither Unite or Frank Morris did not appear to take any legal action back then.

Belmarsh Prison

Further evidence reveals that Frank Morris was not in fact dismissed from the Olympics project (for whatever reason). In an interview with Socialist Worker in February 2011, Frank reveals that he was in fact transferred from the Olympic project to another project (Belmarsh Prison) by his employer, Daletech.

SOCIALIST WORKER ARTICLE 

Frank then provides a very similar story to that subsequently given about his experiences on the Crossrail project about having to work in isolation, being intimidated and threatened by management, etc. He even states that he had to call the police. All evidence that would surely support a legal claim against the employer if they had acted in breach of their contract with him.

It does therefore appear that it was on the Belmarsh Prison project where Frank was dismissed from Daletech following an altercation with a supervisor and subsequent disciplinary hearing.

Summary

I will expand further on this post when I have more time, but for now, it does appear that Frank Morris has a very similar story to tell from at least three projects dating back to 2010 and that his comments about his employment prospects going from very good, always in work, to zero, nearly overnight after being released from the Crossrail project may not be entirely accurate.

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