by John Millington
RANK and file union members have threatened nationwide disruption at construction giant Balfour Beatty tonight following claims a key union activist was blacklisted.
Glasgow electrician Stewart Hume claims he has been victimised because of his trade union activities during the recent bitter BESNA dispute.
Mr Hume was working for Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) at the Grangemouth power station project but was transferred to another site before being made “redundant.”
However the Blacklist Support Group have claimed that the multi million pound company are taking on new starters across Scotland and employing agency labour at Grangemouth – violating nationally negotiated agreements within the industry.
According to campaigners, Mr Hume is the only electrician employed by Balfour Beatty to be made redundant in the entire country.
In a statement Mr Hume said: “I’m extremely disappointed that after 16 years service with the company that they have used my opposition to BESNA against me.”
“I did what was right. The threat of de-skilling our industry was something that I wasn’t prepared to stand by and allow to happen due to the fact that my dad, who was a skilled operative, was electrocuted and killed 28 years ago.”
“Accidents can happen to anyone, however my concern was that the industry would be filled with inexperienced operatives making things more dangerous for us all.”
Looking at the blacklisting scandal involving the Consulting Association back in 2009, Mr Hume added that he believed blacklisting was still widespread.
“I’m now extremely concerned that with the recent information regarding Balfour Beatty’s involvement with the Consulting Association blacklisting scandal, that my future employment in the industry could be affected as I could be on a present day “Blacklist”.
“If this is the case, companies who are still using such practices should remember that it’s not just the individual they are blacklisting, it’s their whole family! I have a 21 month old daughter and a partner, who has been totally supportive throughout the whole situation, to look after and provide for.”
At the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in Westminster parliament today, Gail Cartmail UNITE Assistant General Secretary said that Director of Human Resources at Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Gerry Harvey had “form for blacklisting” and was “absolutely convinced” that blacklisting was still ongoing.
Leader of the sparks rank & file Eddie Current warned Balfour bosses that their “declaration of war” against Mr Hume would not go unchallenged.
“Every Balfour Beatty project in the country will be a legitimate target,” he said.
“The only person to blame for this situation is Gerry Harvey. If the company had an ounce of decency, it would be that blacklisting wretch they would be sacking.”
*The Dreadnaught has contacted Balfour Beatty for comment with no reply as yet