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The Blacklist May 9, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As noted here…

About £10m will be paid in compensation to more than 250 building workers who were “blacklisted” by some of Britain’s biggest construction firms under a settlement to be announced on Monday.

The total payout from the out-of-court deal secured from Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and six other building companies by the Unite union on behalf of almost 800 unfairly targeted workers could be as high as £75m.


The blacklist resulted in hundreds of workers losing their jobs and being unable to secure new ones after being deemed troublemakers while raising legitimate workplace issues.

The construction industry used to monitor more than 3,000 building workers through a shadowy organisation, the Consulting Association, which was eventually raided by the Information Commissioner’s Office after earlier revelations in the Guardian.

The scale in terms of numbers impacted is considerable:

“For decades household-name construction companies implemented an illegal blacklisting system, which denied a generation of trade union activists and health and safety reps an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Finally they have been held to account in public and at great cost to them financially and reputationally.

“Preventing 3,213 workers earning a living to support their families was a gross injustice, and government and employers’ organisations must never forget this sordid episode. Without strong regulation and penalties holding them to account, employers will always be tempted to put profit above people.”

And while compensation is important – indeed the very fact this is uncovered is important, more important is the necessity to ensure that such practices are not allowed to continue in any guise. But in the current environment with one of the most reactionary Tory governments in the UK and a broader mood music that pushes back against unions and workers rights that’s a more difficult challenge than it might at first seem.


1. CMK - May 9, 2016

Good news but far too late for many of these men whose lives have been ruined. Raises questions about Ireland, too. It’s inconceivable that the same practices weren’t/aren’t a feature here in the construction industry. The book ‘Blacklisted’ is a great read on this whole subject and it makes clear that the Information Commissioner raid on the Consulting Association, which led to the whole scandal becoming public knowledge, only uncovered a small amount of the ‘intelligence’ held on union activists. When you put together this scandal, the related Shrewsbury one, the role of the UK intelligence services in the miners strike, the militarised policing of Orgreave, Hillsborough, the use of undercover cops to spy on Militant and the Stephen Lawrence family (to name just two of their targets), undercover cops fathering children with activists who were their ‘targets’, the News International-Metropolitan Police nexus exposed by the hacking scandal, not to mention the role of the UK state in hundreds of murders in Northern Ireland there are very few reasons to believe that policing in the UK is in any way neutral. Not news to the Left but still worth restating.



2. Ed - May 9, 2016

This is always worth remembering when you hear people talking about ‘the death of class’ (which usually means, ‘the death of the working class’). The employers in Britain clearly don’t believe a word of it; even after a generation of defeats for organized labour, they’re still putting a great deal of time and energy into projects like this to sabotage working-class organization. If they thought class struggle was old hat, they’d be happy to rest on their laurels.


Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016


And too suppose that such lists don’t exist still is naive. As is the idea that employers/surplus-value-accumlators don’t go to agencies that evaluate people’s on-line contributions to determine their likelihood to stand up collectively against them.

So don’t plan you’re strikes and actions on Facebook/Twitter!

Signal is your friend in this context.


Gewerkschaftler - May 9, 2016

to … your


WorldbyStorm - May 9, 2016

+1 to you all.


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