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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2015

Spied on by the state and bosses

Neil Cafferky

One of the key industrial battles of the last five years has been the struggle of workers in the construction industry for trade union rights and better terms and conditions.

There have been a number of high profile disputes such as Lindsey, BESNA and Crossrail. A vital weapon of the employers has been victimisation of union activists.

Central to this strategy was the blacklist, where a shadowy organisation called the Consulting Association kept a central database of union activists. Those workers were then systematically excluded from employment by the big construction firms.

'Blacklisted', a new book released this month, tells the story behind this 30-year conspiracy against union activists. The book is co-authored by Dave Smith a prominent construction militant and Phil Chamberlain, an investigative journalist.

As well as detailing the close links between construction industry bosses and the Consulting Association the book also reveals the active collusions of the government security services in passing on information about political activists to employers. In many cases this led to people being excluded from employment simply for taking part in legitimate protests and campaigns.

These revelations come on the back of the scandal of undercover police targeting and infiltrating political organisations in the 1990s such as Militant and Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE), as well as spying on the family of black murdered teenager, Steven Lawrence.

It reveals, once again, that far from being neutral guardians of public safety the security services are a tool of the employers and their political representatives in power. It therefore comes as no surprise that an independent inquiry into Blacklisting and the role of the security services has been ruled out by the Tories.

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In The Socialist 11 March 2015:


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Related links:

Blacklisting:

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

triangleHull construction workers strike against blacklisting

triangleNeither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

triangleLobby of the Swansea City Council's budget setting meeting on 28th February, photo by Swansea SP

triangleBin strike against 'blacklisting'

State:

triangleEnd repression in Chile - freedom for soldier David Veloso

triangleCatalonia: Draconian prison sentences of independence leaders provokes mass protests and strikes

triangleChina at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The state - a warning to Corbynism

Union:

triangleUCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

triangleRMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

trianglePostal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

Construction:

triangleHull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

triangleSocialist Party member Janet Gibson advertising NSSN conference at a protest of steel construction workers outside a Siemans factory in Lincoln (click for report)

Militant:

triangleSocialism 2019: Major rally to plan how to get Corbyn elected with socialist policies

Lindsey:

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

Police:

trianglePressure needed to force secret police disclosure

Crossrail:

triangleWoolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

Besna:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

Youth Against Racism in Europe:

triangleSocialists defend Lush ad campaign against spy cops

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