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Crossrail and Olympics blacklisting disputes vindicated as MPs grill HR director Pat Swift

By Blacklist Support Group

Campaigners celebrated yesterday (Wed 18 Dec) claiming the bitter year long blacklisting dispute on Crossrail and protests at Olympics were totally vindicated following evidence given by Pat Swift to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in the Westminster parliament. Pat Swift was the head of Human Resources for the BAM - Ferrovial - Kier (BFK) consortium on Crossrail and the manager at the centre of the claims that UNITE shop steward Frank Morris had been dismissed in September 2012 because of his previous union activities.


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a paralympic legacy

Peers are apparently keen to prevent appointment of fellow peer the Baroness Grey Thompson (of the £7500 a


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Olympics blacklisting - 'ODA were deceived, gullible or negligent'

Not so long ago the ODA was being touted by its former Chair, John Armitt, as a model for running infrastructure projects. Politicians and others should not interfere in these projects, which should receive cross-party support, instead they should be overseen by a quango - like the ODA. Armitt's proposal is backed by the Labour Party, which has created a panel to investigate the management of infrastructure projects. Lord Adonis, one of Armitt's panellists, rushed to endorse his proposal.

Armitt's big idea is based on his claim that the ODA 'got it right'. Far from getting it right the ODA failed to carry out its functions safely, as in the botched remediation, harassed and persecuted local residents affected by its programmes at places like Leyton Marsh and Leabank Square and lied constantly about alleged legacies such as Stratford City or the 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years'.

Now further evidence has emerged of its failure to investigate or even pay attention to allegations of blacklisting by its contractors. The case of Frank Morris was already known back in February 2011. The ODA took no action in response to the protests which followed over either the original sacking of a co-worker or of Frank Morris himself, when he raised objections to the original abuse.

In November 2012, the ODA's Chief Executive, Dennis Hone, told the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee investigating blacklisting:

“The ODA did not receive any evidence or could find any evidence of blacklisting on the Olympic Park during the construction phase or otherwise." He also claimed that: “At that time there was a discussion with our contractors and we requested evidence from people making the allegations and no evidence was forthcoming. If it had been then we would have gone after the contractors involved."


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A BT job or two for the locals?

BT has taken a lease on part of the Olympic Media Centre.


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A construction boom and a lost opportunity

Along with all the stirring stuff about Olympics job creation, an Olympics boost to the economy, the Olympics transportation miracle comes the news in a 'government-commissioned report' that the Olympics created a construction boom from the building of venues and infrastructure.


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Olympics jobs: treat with caution - again

A few weeks ago the Olympics were being hailed for creating lots of temporary jobs over the past six months, 100,000 of them supposedly in the last quarter and possibly up to 65,000 or so in the previous March to May period. Now the 'Olympics effect' has apparently worn off, as the Standard informs us in an article headlined 'Thousands sign on as Olympic jobs boom ends'.


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Treat with caution!

Alongside the claim of an Olympics boost to the economy, is the claim of an Olympics jobs boost. It is certainly the case that some temporary jobs will have been created during the summer, but it is entirely unclear how many and these claims have been made without any detailed supporting evidence. The Olympics was supposed to have helped reduce unemployment by some tens of thousands between March and May without any specific information as to what these jobs were long before the Games began and after construction had come to an end. Then again in the third quarter the same claims were made, this time for 100,000 Olympics jobs, once again without any specific evidence. Given that tens of thousands of Olympics jobs had already been claimed for the previous months one has to wonder what all these people were doing. According to the statistics 101,000 more people were in work in London during the summer so it seems all of these are simply credited to the Olympics! The other 'evidence' cited is a claim by the Games' organisers that the Olympics would create around 200,000 jobs, 70,000 of which would be volunteers, so these figures appear to have been swallowed whole as the basis for the jobs boost. Of course all sorts of claims for job creation have been made over the years, some of which have then been disowned by the same organisers who proclaimed them, while in other instances the organisers have been unable to provide any information in support of their projections.


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#atosgames

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Olympic Sites: A celebration of Olympic values?

"In this special issue of CLRNews we have tried to document the construction involved for different Olympic Games, the social and employment issues and problems raised and the longer-lasting effects."


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