Unions announce day of action against employee blacklisting

By staff writers
September 9, 2013

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has announced that it is to hold a national day of action against blacklisting on Wednesday 20 November.

Protests will be held up and down the country and there will be an accompanying lobby of Parliament.

The TUC and its member unions are unhappy that companies who have blacklisted workers have still not been held accountable. They want a Leveson-style inquiry into the practice and are calling on the government to introduce the following measures:

- A judge-led inquiry into the practice of blacklisting.
- All companies tobe asked if they have ever complied, used, sold or supplied information that could be used for blacklisting.
- Companies that refuse to comply or apologise and compensate victims if they have engaged in blacklisting to be barred from bidding for any public sector contracts.
- Blacklisting to be made a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "There is a clear need for a Leveson-style inquiry into blacklisting to make sure it is stamped out once and for all.

"It is essential that companies who have blacklisted workers own up, clean up and pay up.

"Blacklisting is a shameful practice that has no place in a modern society. It causes misery for those blacklisted and their families and it puts lives at risk. It is scandalous that so many people's livelihoods have been ruined or put at risk just for raising health and safety concerns."

She concluded: "The government cannot sit on the fence any longer. Blacklisting must be made a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment and an unlimited fine."

The names of thousands of workers, mainly in the construction industry, were found on a list held by the Consulting Association when its offices were raided in 2009.

Unions claim that workers have been denied employment, often for raising health and safety issues or for being union activists.

[Ekk/4]

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