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Blacklist row reignites

Electrician on Manchester job starts tribunal case against three subcontractors

FURTHER claims of blacklisting in electrical contracting surfaced this week at a tribunal involving three companies.

Electrician Steve Acheson alleges three subcontractors on the Manchester Royal Infirmary - Logic Control Services, Tac and Balfour Kilpatrick - sacked him in February because of his role in previous industrial disputes.

Mr Acheson began work on the Bovis Lend Lease scheme in January but claims he was sacked on February 24 by Logic because he had been blacklisted as a troublemaker.

He alleges Tac instructed Logic to sack him after being advised by Balfour Kilpatrick.

The T&G union activist was involved in a major dispute with Balfour Kilpatrick on the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in Kent in the late 1990s, and won a tribunal against failed contractor DAF Electrical after being dismissed from the Piccadilly Gardens scheme in Manchester.

Bovis Lend Lease intervened to reinstate Mr Acheson on the project three days later, but last Friday he was given one week’s notice by Logic.

The electrician, backed by the T&G in his claim, said: ‘There is five or six years’ work here and we’re being told we’re being made redundant because of a downturn in work.

‘This is the second time in six years since Pfizer that I have been made redundant after starting work on a JIB site.’

Logic and Tac refused to comment, but a Balfour Kilpat rick spokeswoman said: ‘There was no contractual link between ourselves and Tac and we deny Mr Acheson’s allegations.’

Mr Acheson is on a list of allegedly blacklisted electricians posted on the internet by former Haden Young director Alan Wainwright, who is taking his former employer to a tribunal for constructive dismissal.

Mr Wainwright claims four of the biggest M&E firms in the country - Balfour Kilpatrick, Haden Young, Crown House and Emcor Engineering Services - blacklisted more than 1,000 electricians. The firms deny the allegations.