Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/737/15434
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2012
Fighting the construction industry blacklist
Stop blacklisting on the Olympics: re-instate Frank Morris, photo Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Blacklisting of workers in the construction industry has recently been exposed for the scourge that it is.
Workers have had their livelihoods taken away just because they are trade union activists or even health and safety reps.
Paul is an electrician in Hull Unite No1 branch. He is on the Blacklisting Support Group steering committee. He has written this account of fighting the blacklist.
I discovered I was on the Consulting Association's blacklisting file run by Ian Kerr in March 2009. I was on the list, along with just over 3,000 other construction workers. This is just under 1% of the UK construction workforce.
These workers have all had information gathered illegally by this man, who passed it to 40 of the UK's largest construction companies.
He charged a fee and each company paid an annual subscription. He was making a profit out of preventing people from working.
It is obscene to put it mildly. Four companies had used this company to find information about me. None of the information was correct.
To have people make assumptions about your character purely for your trade union beliefs is surreal and wrong.
I contacted Unite the Union to see if I could pursue these companies to employment tribunals. They agreed but getting just one to a hearing is hard enough, let alone four, and the legal process is long and strict.
After two years of effort I was only successful in getting Balfour Beatty Engineering Services to a full tribunal hearing in February 2011.
The hearing lasted two days. The verdict was in my favour. I'm one of only a handful of people on this list who has had any kind of success.
This is not from lack of effort on other workers' part, more has to be done for every person on that list.
The Blacklisting Support Group, run by rank and file members, is working tirelessly to that end.
The trade union movement has to support a national campaign to ensure everyone on that list gets justice. After three years there has still not been a fully organised national campaign.
Ian Kerr, the person at the centre of this scandal, was only fined £5,000. The companies involved got an information embargo from the last Labour government.
We've committed no crime but had our human rights abused and livelihoods affected. This should not be able to happen in a so-called civilised, democratic country.
The people on this list should be applauded for fighting on in one of the hardest working environments - the construction sites.
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In The Socialist 10 October 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Tories promise more pain... Kick out the 'nasty party'!
Labour Party conference - not fighting austerity
Arguing the case for a 24-hour general strike
Birmingham Tory conference demo
'Millions crying out for leadership and for an alternative'
Anti-austerity candidates selected for November contests
No welfare cuts
Health workers must fight attacks on jobs and pay
Politicians line up to attack abortion rights
The hidden homeless - "Sofa surfing is my lot"
Them & Us
Send the transport privatisers packing
International socialist news and analysis
Venezuela presidential election
Greece: escalating the action against austerity
South Africa: 'What are we doing about this government that is killing us?'
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Why we're marching on 20 October
More success for Socialist Students
Save East Midlands ambulances
Campaign Kazakhstan: A musical and political evening
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education fortnight of action 13-27 October
Dewsbury fights health service cuts
Waltham Forest: Parents and staff unite against school sell-off
Sunderland anti-fascists stand up against divisive EDL
Socialist Party workplace news
South Wales bus workers receive strong support for strike
Fighting the construction industry blacklist
Workplace nurseries saved in HMRC
Leeds solidarity with Crossrail battle
Mid Yorkshire Health admin staff ballot for strike
Bin workers' strike threat
Workplace news in brief
TV review : Masters of Money - Karl Marx
Marx was right!
The Socialist 10 October 2012 |
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