Today's lead story in the Observer is a maddening and excellent investigative piece revealing that for three decades, the UK's biggest construction companies worked with British police and spy-agencies to build illegal dossiers on whistle-blowers who complained about unsafe working conditions and trade-unionists. The victims of these investigations -- thousands of them -- were economically ruined as the firms conspired to keep them from being hired at any job-site, and saw to it that if they were ever hired, they were promptly fired.
Previous attempts to sue over this haven't gotten very far, but the evidence of police/spy collusion may be enough to prompt Parliamentary action. Be sure to click on the related links to the side of the piece for Daniel Boffey's collection of stories of workers who were targeted. One man discovered that his file contained information about his participation in an anti-fascist demonstration.
The Consulting Association was closed down and a 66-year-old private investigator, Ian Kerr, was fined £5,000 for administering the database, although the construction firms escaped prosecution. At Smith's tribunal, Carillion admitted that two of its subsidiaries covertly supplied information to the database to "penalise" Smith for being a trade unionist, even though he had "reasonably brought health and safety concerns to their attention". However, Smith lost his claim for £175,000 in lost income because he worked through an agency and was not directly employed by Carillion.
Police are linked to blacklist of construction workers
Documents on an unprotected, network-connected drive owned by an employee of Nokia shed light on the inner workings of Russia’s networked surveillance system known as SORM (Russian: COPM).
Thomas Piketty, the French economist behind 2014's game-changing Capital in the 21st Century, has a new book, Capital and Ideology (out in France now, coming in English in 2020), which uses the same long-run economic series that Capital 21C benefited from to understand the relationship between wealth and ideology. Central to Piketty's thesis: that it's […]
The real estate bubble is in trouble: London's luxury housing market has been in freefall for years, and New York's retail vacancy has been soaring, even as global super-luxe housing is also tanking.
If you’ve worked in any high-performing engineering lab, you already know about MATLAB. This computing environment and the language that powers it is perfectly suited to science and math, with an interface that makes it easy to express and visualize complex algorithms – not to mention an infrastructure that lets it easily work with other […]
Studies have shown cannabidiol (more popularly known as CBD) to be effective in two main areas: Pain relief and stress relief. Both of those make the non-psychoactive, cannabis-derived compound a natural for topical creams. There’s no shortage of CBD products out there, but here’s eight of our favorites, all specifically designed for dermatological use – […]
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]