Exclusive: Allegations that workers on Crossrail project were victimised for raising safety issues backed by former subcontractor on project


Allegations that workers on London’s Crossrail project were victimised for raising safety issues have been backed by a former subcontractor on the £15bn project.

Building last week reported on the details of an employment tribunal claim and blacklisting “test case” brought by electrician Frank Morris who claims to have been dismissed from his job on Crossrail last September after raising serious safety concerns.

The claim, at the London Central Employment Tribunal, was brought against three parties – Morris’ direct employer, Electrical Installations Services (EIS); Crossrail joint venture Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Kier (BFK); and Crossrail Ltd.

In its defence, Crossrail denied Morris’ claim, saying he had been made redundant by EIS “as the work EIS was carrying out … had completed.”

However, a letter from the boss of EIS, Ron Turner, sent to the Unite union and obtained by Building, disputes this.

The letter is dated September 13 2012, shortly after BFK’s decision to cancel EIS’ contract.

Turner wrote: “I firmly believe that the decision to cancel my contract was driven by BFK wanting to remove Mr Morris from the project.”

The letter also claimed that a number of EIS workers including Morris had been treated “extremely unfairly” by BFK managers and prevented from investigating or raising safety concerns.

Turner continued: “I have no control over BFK’s tunnel team, who have little regard for the consequences of their actions with regards to sending people off site without any formal hearings or appeals.”

BFK said it is under a “contractual requirement” not to comment to the media.

A spokesman for Crossrail said the letter’s “unsubstantiated allegations concerning the termination of the EIS contract have been firmly denied by BFK”. He added that while BFK remains part of the proceedings a judge had this week removed Crossrail Ltd from the case.

The tribunal is due to be heard next month.