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BSC president demands answers on Hager book claims

18 August 2014

BSC president demands answers after Hager book apparently exposes sources behind Whale Oil smear campaign

Building Services Contractors NZ president Patrick Lee-Lo is calling for an explanation of cleaning boss Grant McLauchlan and PR consultant Carrick Graham’s roles in blogger Cameron Slater’s savage attacks on the organisation.

Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics contains several pages relating to the Whale Oil blog’s long-running campaign against the cleaning industry body, its Officers, Councillors and President - Mr Lee-Lo.

Mr Hager’s book contains evidence suggesting these attacks, which continued over 18 months, were:

• Written by Carrick Graham and placed in Whale Oil

• That ‘Fred’ and ‘Barney’ the ‘informed’ commenters on these posts were both written by Grant McLauchlan, Managing Director of Crest Commercial Cleaning company, which has advertised heavily on the Whale Oil site

• That the real purpose of the campaign was to influence the Government to scrap the Principles for the Property Services agreement – which it did in June this year

Mr Lee-Lo said: “Dirty Politics suggests Cameron Slater attacked BSC because someone was paying him to do so – most probably through the medium of advertising in Whale Oil.

“The Whale Oil posts and the anonymous comments had the potential to seriously damage the reputation of the BSC and a number of people associated with it. It included vicious and sickening personal attacks directed at me.”

The book contains evidence claiming:

• PR agent Carrick Graham wrote Whale Oil posts (published under Cameron Slater’s name) calling the BSC a “piss-ant little organisation” and its president a “70s porn star look-alike” accusing staff of “troughing” and “telling porkies”

• Graham then posted comments underneath, calling himself “Lion King” and “Naylor”, saying Lee-Lo “abused multiple companies and franchisees”, “believes his own bullshit doesn’t stink” and would “get away with stonewalling the BSC members from getting a slice of the $1.8m he’s sucked out of them”

• The man who paid Graham to run the campaign, BSC opponent Grant McLauchlan, posted comments as “Fred” and “Barney”, talking of “Paddy Plumley Lee-Lo”, calling him a “prick”, “bent” and a “clown” running a “rort” and a “sham”, and calling on him to quit

“It was savage, relentless and hugely distressing. However, of even greater concern, is the suggestion that this dirty tricks campaign influenced the decision to overturn an agreement that protected cleaning workers’ rights,” said Mr Lee-Lo.

“The Principles Agreement established that only BSC members could tender for Government cleaning contracts. This is because our members commit to meet high standards, provide fair working conditions and pay cleaners above the minimum wage.

“The implication in Mr Hager’s book is that Grant McLauchlan was bankrolling Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater to destroy an agreement that protected cleaners’ rights to fair pay for a fair day’s work under fair conditions.

“Crest Commercial Cleaning is not a BSC member – and has been subject to Employment Court rulings regarding its treatment of workers. It could benefit significantly from the scrapping of the Principles Agreement.

“Cleaners are among the most vulnerable workers in New Zealand. This decision will lead to many having no choice but to work in reduced conditions for lower wages.

“I want answers - and I believe cleaners and reputable cleaning companies deserve answers - about whether these men were involved in the Whale Oil attacks, and if so, how it was that they have managed to cause so much harm,” said Mr Lee-Lo.

ENDS

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