A 17 January High Court ruling has highlighted the dangerous lack of rights afforded to agency workers in the UK.
High Court Judge Mrs. Justice Slade ruled that Dave Smith, a former construction worker leading activist in the Blacklist Support Group, had been blacklisted for his activities as a trade union health and safety representative, but that he has no option for legal redress because he was an agency employee at the time.
The judge stated that Dave had “suffered from injustice from blacklisting”, and identified human rights violations, but concluded that UK employment law does not protect to agency workers.
The ruling could provide a dangerous loophole for employers facing blacklisting cases, as contracting-out and agency employment is common in the construction industry.
Dave, who plans to appeal, said: “Being a union member is not against the law. Raising concerns about asbestos is not against the law. But despite mountains of documentary evidence proving that construction firms were systematically blacklisting union members who questioned safety standards, it seems that big business are above the law.”
“Blacklisting is a violation of human rights. We intend to fight this all the way to Europe until we achieve justice. My heroic legal team are already preparing our appeal.”
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