It’s not enough to be a human being. In order to live on the planet you need to be loaded if you live in the so-called democratic Western World. In USA there is a battle to provide health care for more than the rich and the UK as usual is moving towards the “great American ideal”. Justice? Can you afford it? Not when the multinationals, supported by government (doesn’t matter whether Tory, Lib-Dem or New Labour) get together. The following came from the Socialist Labour Party:
Steve Acheson has now found out where his court hearing is – it is at the High Court, Chancery Division, in London on Wed 21st October.
According to Wikipedia Chancery should only deal with high value cases or cases of high legal importance. By going to this court SSE (Fiddlers Ferry power station owners) are clearly hoping to win their case by out-spending Steve. Chancery normally deals with mega commercial cases, for instance they heard the case of The Beatles versus Apple (i-pod). Another case the High Court has just dealt with is the release of records of torture in Guantanamo Bay.
One of the court officials said that you will be lucky to get a case into Chancery for less than £20,000 – quite understandable if you are dealing with a £20 million pound case, but totally over the top for a case where a company is irritated by a sacked trade unionist sticking some banners on their fence.
They were hoping to get their injunction ‘without notice’ – that is without Steve knowing about it, and that is why they make allegations about a threat to the generation of electicity and of bringing down the National Grid, but the court obliges them to give at least informal notice of the injunction hearing, which is why Steve was handed a sketchy outline of the case by the security.
There is a clear implication for other workers here. The construction strikes and mass protests earlier this year at Lindsey, Stanlow, Sellafield and Fiddlers Ferry itself could all find themselves banned by High Court injunctions in an expensive court if this goes unchallenged. All those sites could be argued to be of national strategic importance.
Unite has now agreed to send someone with Steve on Wednesday thanks to certain members of the NEC who have worked hard to secure this help. He is hoping to get the case adjourned in the interests of justice so he can put his case against the misinformation in the injunction application about threats, intimidation and a possibility of invading the power station to disrupt generation.
I attach a draft press release (below) from the Trades Council for circulation and will circulate information after the hearing on Wednesday.
Warrington Trades Council
Warrington District Trades Union Council
Fiddlers Ferry update
Blacklisted electrician and Unite member Steve Acheson has been protesting outside Fiddlers Ferry power station, Warrington, since his unfair dismissal by contractors in December 2008. He has now been served with notice of an injunction in the High Court, Chancery Division, against his protest.
But in a truly bizarre twist, the papers do not give a time, date or place for the court hearing. This is because Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) want to secure an injunction ‘without notice’, that is without Steve knowing of it before it is created. In law this will only be granted if there is an imminent threat of harm or loss. To this end the injunction makes various fantastical claims that Steve and his supporters pose a danger to the National Grid!
Steve and his supporters stand outside the power station every Monday and Friday from 7.30 am as a peaceful protest against his unfair dismissal and subsequent denial of a grievance process. None of them has ever attempted to enter the power station, or disrupt generation, or block the entrance to the site.
If anything it was Steve’s employers who broke local agreements, and the law of the land, in sacking him contrary to the agreed rules on the site. His employer, such is the abysmal contractor culture on these projects, was a sub-contractor to a sub-contractor to a contractor to SSE! SSE could at any time, by lifting their little finger, have got Steve re-instated, or at least got him access to a grievance procedure.
Instead of which we have the grotesque spectacle of a company that made over £1 billion PROFIT last year bullying an unemployed electrician.
For more details contact