13/07/2014 - Justice closer for blacklisting victims?

blacklistYesterday saw an important step forward in the fight for justice for victims of blacklisting. A High Court judge ruled that companies involved in blacklisting have a case to answer and that hundreds of separate cases made by victims of blacklisting will be heard together, under a Group Litigation Order (GLO). The next court date has been provisionally set for October and there will be a further hearing in December.

The cases will be managed by a Steering Committee, comprising of the solicitors acting for UCATT, Unite and the GMB and the Blacklist Support Group who have all brought forward cases.

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “Today was a green light in the battle for blacklisting justice. Over five years after the scandal was first revealed blacklisted victims are beginning to see justice in action. The companies involved in ruining workers lives are going to be forced to answer for their actions.”

In a further victory, it was agreed that the names and addresses of blacklisted workers will not be made publicly available and will be kept in a sealed enveloped which the judge has control over. Therefore the blacklisting companies will not have be given access to the names and addresses of their victims.

Steve Murphy said: “It was absolutely essential that companies involved in blacklisting aren’t given the details of their victims and we welcome the decision that this information will not be made publicly available.”

GMB national officer Maria Ludkin said: “The High Court agrees with our applications today for progression of a group litigation order and anonymity for the claimants to ensure that the blacklisting litigation now proceeds and at a reasonable pace.

“Despite numerous objections from the lawyers for the construction companies, the High Court master set a calendar to clarify legal and factual issues before the next case management hearing in October.

“GMB is are delighted that the court now takes the view that there should be no more artificial delays and the litigation now needs to progress to a rapid conclusion to achieve justice for blacklisted workers.”