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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2009

Battling against the blacklist

Manchester electrician Colin Trousdale wrote this diary to illustrate the effect of the blacklist clearly being operated by some construction employers.
Blacklisted electricians protesting at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site, photo by The Socialist

Blacklisted electricians protesting at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site, photo by The Socialist

Tuesday 12 May

Got a phone call for a start for an agency. First sniff of work in over five months.

Wednesday 13 May

Got to site - Media city, the BBC's new home. Starting for principal electrical contractor's sub-contractor.

Refused entrance to principal electrical contractor's site induction and transferred 20 miles to another site.

Got a phone call at 2.30pm saying that I could go home as my services were no longer required due to a clerical mix up in the amount of sparks needed.

Went back to Media City. Spoke to the site convenor, got reinstated to Fab shop for duration of my contract (12 days).

Thursday 14 May

Got a phone call to say that I was finishing Friday.

Friday 15 May

Handed in my grievance letter for breach of contract.

Monday 18 May

No response to my letter, no work.

Tuesday 19 May

Myself and two other blacklisted electricians, supplemented by Brian Bamford, Tameside TUC and Andy Ford, Warrington TUC (thanks lads) set up a peaceful protest outside the site.

7.30am, approached by convenor, asked our aims and how long we intended to be there. The answer of "duration of the job" brought a wince.

11.00am the convenor came out and said he was trying to organise a meeting. We packed up the banners for the day and left.

12.00 got a phone call - could I come back for a meeting? Met with principal electrical contractor's labour manager who said they weren't blacklisting.

I showed him my file with his company's name on it . He apologised and reinstated me, giving me three weeks work via the agency but for the company not a subbie, so the rate was a bit better.

This just goes to show the power of unity. I can only thank my comrades and assure them that I will make every endeavour to get them working too.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 5 June 2009:

Action to defend union rights

Visteon pensioners battle on

Vauxhall jobs threat - unions must organise a fightback


Workplace news and analysis

Royal Mail sell-off - Time for action!

Fast news

Tube workers vote to strike

Bristol refuse workers strike

Battling against the blacklist

Glasgow care workers' success


Socialist Party election campaign

Prepare now for next election challenge

European elections: Putting forward a workers' alternative

A Question Time carve up

Challenge these disgraced MPs

A Parliament of celebrities and a speaker of integrity


Youth

Aston University socialists fight for student democracy

Sussex University: Save Linguistics campaign

Socialist youth conference and protest

Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July


Socialist Party feature

NATO anniversary: 60 years of aggression and terror


Socialist Party review

The Frock-Coated Communist: the revolutionary life of Friedrich Engels


Marxist analysis: history

Tiananmen Square 1989: Counter-revolution crushes China's democracy movement


 

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Related links:

Construction:

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

triangleHull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

triangleConstruction site bosses put profits first

triangleHS2 debacle: nationalise rail and construction!

Manchester:

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: What does the general election result mean for 2020?

triangleManchester & Salford Socialist Party: The State and the lessons for the labour movement

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The fight for a minimum wage that workers can live on

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Tories Out - General Election Now!

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

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