Union to issue 100,000 postcards calling on Jack Straw to reverse decision to end compensation for pleural plaque victims

UCATT is to issue more than 100,000 postcards addressed to justice minister Jack Straw in an attempt to reverse the Lords ruling to end compensation for victims of pleural plaques.

The postcards will be given to members to send to the minister and will also be available on the union website as part of an overall pressure campaign.

The campaign will be launched at a lobby of parliament next month, when there will also be a seminar on pleural plaques led by Michael Clapham.

Representatives of UCATT also plan to meet with Straw, lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice, to put forward the case for overturning the decision.

The campaign follows a ruling in the house of Lords that ended a 20-year right to compensation for victims of pleural plaques, which is a scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos, by ruling it was not a disease.

People with the condition are more likely to develop lung condition mesothelioma.

Union GMB yesterday led a lobby at parliament over the issue. Speaking about affected workers, Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie said: “Their only crime was to go out and work and earn a living.”

Jim Sheridan MP last week chaired a parliamentary debate on the topic.

The Scottish Executive has indicated it will overturn the ban.