The latest on the blacklist by Steve Kelly on the Socialist Appeal site:
Ian Kerr, the despicable quisling behind the construction blacklist appeared in court today (Thursday 16th July) and was fined a measly £5,000 – small change for someone who supplied construction companies with the blacklist data of over 3,000 construction workers to any company that wanted and charged £3,200 a time. This information was supplied to at least 40 companies, possibly more – none of which are to face any prosecution. Agencies soon picked up on this blacklist as well. Some workers have suffered years of unemployment due to the blacklist. Steve Acheson, an electrician from Manchester, has only worked 36 weeks in the last 10 years. Many others have suffered too. Their losses could be up to six figures, yet Kerr was left off the hook. This is the ruling class looking after their own and punishing the working class for their lawful trade union activity.
The unions need to defend their members better for starters. Many blacklisted workers have hit a brick wall when looking for legal representation. Union solicitors seem to be barking up the wrong tree by going to employment tribunals. There they have the cases rejected by the tribunals according to the usual rubbish – you are out of time; you were self employed not on PAYE; you didn’t work for the company for more than a year. No, in fact you were sacked for organising yourself and your workmates into a union!
What is required are claims under the Data Protection Act through the civil courts, and our unions should be doing this for its members asap. Unite is proud to tell everyone that they are the country’s biggest union with 2 million members. Well, start acting like a union and defend blacklisted workers, and defend them properly. It’s no good hiding under a bush and hoping this scandalous attack on rank and file trade unionists will disappear. In the meantime it will be down to us to put pressure on our unions to act Put motions through your branches, and wherever workers are blacklisted down tools immediately. Together united we will win!