Activist’s legal bid after blacklist fear

Mike Hamblett has discovered he is on a blacklist

Mike Hamblett has discovered he is on a blacklist

First published in News

AN ENVIRONMENTAL activist has taken legal action after finding his name is on a secret blacklist used by companies to vet new workers.

Former civil engineer Mike Hamblett discovered 18 months ago he was among 3,213 people on the list, used by 44 businesses.

He was contacted by lawyers acting for about 150 people involved in ongoing legal action in the High Court.

They are petitioning top judges to obtain a copy of a secret court order which allegedly lets firms access information about blacklisted workers.

The blacklist mainly involves construction workers but also environmental and animal activists.

About eight people in Oxfordshire are believed to have been on the blacklist.

Mr Hamblett believes his name may be on the list because he was jailed for two weeks in 1993 following an arrest at a protest against the extension to the M3 at Twyford Down, Hampshire.

The Osney resident, 60, was also fined in 2009 after a council tree worker was pushed over and injured his backside on a chainsaw which had been switched off.

In 2007 he was taken into custody for stopping contractors painting new parking lines in his street.

Mr Hamblett said: “It’s a terrible shock to find people in secret have been discussing your life without you knowing anything.

“It’s very sinister. We need to sue these people to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

He is calling on the Government to take action to insist “that every person on the list should be contacted”.

The GMB union believes about a third of the people on the blacklist are currently aware their names are on it.

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This week GMB, which along with unions Unite and UCATT is assisting claimants, petitioned the High Court.

They are trying to obtain a copy of a secret order acquired by eight blacklisting companies last October that allegedly allows them access to information about blacklisted workers.

In 2009 Mr Hamblett appealed against his convictions for battery and hindering the use of a chainsaw and related equipment but was not successful. He was fined £215 and ordered to pay £300 costs.

Comments (15)

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10:35am Mon 21 Apr 14

train passenger says...

Nobody has a right to work anywhere, companies may or may not give you a job. Given this man's past actions it is entirely understandable companies may not want to employ him. He isn't being discriminated because of membership of a group, his religion, his gender, looks or anything like that. Simply take responsibility for your actions mate and get over it.
Nobody has a right to work anywhere, companies may or may not give you a job. Given this man's past actions it is entirely understandable companies may not want to employ him. He isn't being discriminated because of membership of a group, his religion, his gender, looks or anything like that. Simply take responsibility for your actions mate and get over it. train passenger
  • Score: 7

12:27pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Secret list? It's not a secret...

All employers or potential commercial partners will key your name into "Google" or "Bing" and they can read all about you and make a judgement on that.

If you don't want people to know about your naughtiness, don't do anything that might be held in a pubic record or published.
Secret list? It's not a secret... All employers or potential commercial partners will key your name into "Google" or "Bing" and they can read all about you and make a judgement on that. If you don't want people to know about your naughtiness, don't do anything that might be held in a pubic record or published. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

12:48pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

"Former civil engineer". But what does he do now? Would he think it wrong for an abattoir to decline a job application from Broughton or the Averys? Indeed , if MI5 had ever felt able to acknowledge that Philby, as well as being "one of us" had been a Stalinist, would they have been wrong to have saved hundreds of lives by advising him to pivot on something sharp rather than offering him a job?
"Former civil engineer". But what does he do now? Would he think it wrong for an abattoir to decline a job application from Broughton or the Averys? Indeed , if MI5 had ever felt able to acknowledge that Philby, as well as being "one of us" had been a Stalinist, would they have been wrong to have saved hundreds of lives by advising him to pivot on something sharp rather than offering him a job? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 2

3:36pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Chris Henderson says...

While Mr Hamblett's case is unusual the use of such secret blacklists is a serious issue. They are mainly used to prevent any trade union activists from working in the construction industry.
The increasing number of deaths on construction sites bears testimony to their "success"
While Mr Hamblett's case is unusual the use of such secret blacklists is a serious issue. They are mainly used to prevent any trade union activists from working in the construction industry. The increasing number of deaths on construction sites bears testimony to their "success" Chris Henderson
  • Score: 5

5:02pm Mon 21 Apr 14

King Joke says...

I think some of you don't get it do you? Blacklisting is illegal. When you apply for a job, you have the right to expect an employer will base their decision on whether to appoint on i) what you've put on the application form, ii) what they can reasonably find out from your online profile. Blacklisting means some people will never work again, a harsh punishment for standing up for what you believe in.

I don't like UKIP or the EDL, but this is a personal view and it would be entirely wrong, and illegal, for me to not appoint a job applicant because I'd been told they were on a list of members.
I think some of you don't get it do you? Blacklisting is illegal. When you apply for a job, you have the right to expect an employer will base their decision on whether to appoint on i) what you've put on the application form, ii) what they can reasonably find out from your online profile. Blacklisting means some people will never work again, a harsh punishment for standing up for what you believe in. I don't like UKIP or the EDL, but this is a personal view and it would be entirely wrong, and illegal, for me to not appoint a job applicant because I'd been told they were on a list of members. King Joke
  • Score: 1

5:21pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

King Joke wrote:
I think some of you don't get it do you? Blacklisting is illegal. When you apply for a job, you have the right to expect an employer will base their decision on whether to appoint on i) what you've put on the application form, ii) what they can reasonably find out from your online profile. Blacklisting means some people will never work again, a harsh punishment for standing up for what you believe in.

I don't like UKIP or the EDL, but this is a personal view and it would be entirely wrong, and illegal, for me to not appoint a job applicant because I'd been told they were on a list of members.
I missed the "illegal" part but you surely would not appoint them because you'd not be able to get on with them , just as I'd not employ a Labour voter if someone warned me that's what they were. "Standing up for what you believe in" doesn't involve duffing people up from my end of the spectrum but presumably it does from the left. Good luck with it!
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: I think some of you don't get it do you? Blacklisting is illegal. When you apply for a job, you have the right to expect an employer will base their decision on whether to appoint on i) what you've put on the application form, ii) what they can reasonably find out from your online profile. Blacklisting means some people will never work again, a harsh punishment for standing up for what you believe in. I don't like UKIP or the EDL, but this is a personal view and it would be entirely wrong, and illegal, for me to not appoint a job applicant because I'd been told they were on a list of members.[/p][/quote]I missed the "illegal" part but you surely would not appoint them because you'd not be able to get on with them , just as I'd not employ a Labour voter if someone warned me that's what they were. "Standing up for what you believe in" doesn't involve duffing people up from my end of the spectrum but presumably it does from the left. Good luck with it! Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: -1

5:34pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Chris Henderson wrote:
While Mr Hamblett's case is unusual the use of such secret blacklists is a serious issue. They are mainly used to prevent any trade union activists from working in the construction industry.
The increasing number of deaths on construction sites bears testimony to their "success"
If you're going to post something, it's probably a good idea to check that it is true first...

Here is a link to the HSE graph showing a 60-70% drop in deaths in the construction industry over the last 30 years...

http://www.hse.gov.u
k/STATISTICS/industr
y/construction/const
ruction.gif
[quote][p][bold]Chris Henderson[/bold] wrote: While Mr Hamblett's case is unusual the use of such secret blacklists is a serious issue. They are mainly used to prevent any trade union activists from working in the construction industry. The increasing number of deaths on construction sites bears testimony to their "success"[/p][/quote]If you're going to post something, it's probably a good idea to check that it is true first... Here is a link to the HSE graph showing a 60-70% drop in deaths in the construction industry over the last 30 years... http://www.hse.gov.u k/STATISTICS/industr y/construction/const ruction.gif Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Chris Henderson says...

Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan.
There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend.
Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan. There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend. Chris Henderson
  • Score: 2

6:49pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Chris Henderson wrote:
Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan.
There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend.
And employing union "activists", i.e. single issue fanatics would reverse the trend of which you speak? In any event no one takes account of "subees" in the construction trade. Many of them have false exemption certificates , not from HMRC. So maybe you're barking up the wrong scaffolding?
[quote][p][bold]Chris Henderson[/bold] wrote: Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan. There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend.[/p][/quote]And employing union "activists", i.e. single issue fanatics would reverse the trend of which you speak? In any event no one takes account of "subees" in the construction trade. Many of them have false exemption certificates , not from HMRC. So maybe you're barking up the wrong scaffolding? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Mon 21 Apr 14

mike111 says...

Train Passenger?
I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett
Train Passenger? I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett mike111
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Chris Henderson wrote:
Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan.
There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend.
I would politely refer you to the following graph from the HSE website.

The red line is the one that relates to construction site deaths...

http://www.hse.gov.u

k/STATISTICS/industr

y/construction/const

ruction.gif
[quote][p][bold]Chris Henderson[/bold] wrote: Since 2001 there have been 760 deaths in accidents on UK building sites. That is more than UK soldier deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan. There was a drop in the 80s/90s as better health and safety measures were brought in but recent cuts in HSE inspections have seen a reversal of that trend.[/p][/quote]I would politely refer you to the following graph from the HSE website. The red line is the one that relates to construction site deaths... http://www.hse.gov.u k/STATISTICS/industr y/construction/const ruction.gif Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

7:49am Tue 22 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

mike111 wrote:
Train Passenger?
I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett
The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed.
[quote][p][bold]mike111[/bold] wrote: Train Passenger? I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett[/p][/quote]The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:05am Tue 22 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

And what is your current occupation Mr Hamblett? If, for example , you are employed by Public Interest Lawyers you will find no employment in main stream work in exactly the same way as if you are employed by GMB etc. No secrecy; most employers will take one look at your CV, say "Trot" and pick up the next CV.
And what is your current occupation Mr Hamblett? If, for example , you are employed by Public Interest Lawyers you will find no employment in main stream work in exactly the same way as if you are employed by GMB etc. No secrecy; most employers will take one look at your CV, say "Trot" and pick up the next CV. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:07am Tue 22 Apr 14

King Joke says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
mike111 wrote:
Train Passenger?
I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett
The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed.
If you were being shafted, and denied your livelihood, by an employer who just wanted rid of you because of personal prejudices, you'd be rather glad of employment law.
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mike111[/bold] wrote: Train Passenger? I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett[/p][/quote]The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed.[/p][/quote]If you were being shafted, and denied your livelihood, by an employer who just wanted rid of you because of personal prejudices, you'd be rather glad of employment law. King Joke
  • Score: 0

8:19am Tue 22 Apr 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

King Joke wrote:
Lord Palmerstone wrote:
mike111 wrote:
Train Passenger?
I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett
The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed.
If you were being shafted, and denied your livelihood, by an employer who just wanted rid of you because of personal prejudices, you'd be rather glad of employment law.
But that's not what this is about, is it? I wouldn't, in my days as an employer, have wanted to take on people who duffed others up. If there's a list then I'd know that's what Mr Hamblett did, so I'd not take him on and hence neither of us would need to "shaft" the other.. You may hate pragmatism King Joke but in the real world when you don't like the employment you vote with your feet rather than becoming obsessed with being a "victim" and notorious as a useless sh1t-stirring employee. I repeat, employment law, as it now is, and not in the form it was in the 1970's, is a displacement activity pursued by people with very dubious motives.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mike111[/bold] wrote: Train Passenger? I agree with you and, as you have read have always accepted the consequences of my actions. The problem is the secrecy - you may e on a secret list somewhere - and it is against employment laws. Many workers are blacklisted for raising issues of health and safety and have had their lives ruined. It is essential that this blacklistng is stopped; no place for it in a civilised society. Mike Hamblett[/p][/quote]The problem is indeed the secrecy. If it's secret you won't know there's a list, will you? And, since there's a shortage of competent doctors in our country I would urge all those with a misbegotten urge to be an employment lawyer to retrain as a doctor rather than waste a life in pursuit of the farrago of useless and pointless litigation into which (almost entirely irrelevant) employment law has morphed.[/p][/quote]If you were being shafted, and denied your livelihood, by an employer who just wanted rid of you because of personal prejudices, you'd be rather glad of employment law.[/p][/quote]But that's not what this is about, is it? I wouldn't, in my days as an employer, have wanted to take on people who duffed others up. If there's a list then I'd know that's what Mr Hamblett did, so I'd not take him on and hence neither of us would need to "shaft" the other.. You may hate pragmatism King Joke but in the real world when you don't like the employment you vote with your feet rather than becoming obsessed with being a "victim" and notorious as a useless sh1t-stirring employee. I repeat, employment law, as it now is, and not in the form it was in the 1970's, is a displacement activity pursued by people with very dubious motives. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

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