Blacklisted workers will be speaking at fringe meetings during union conference season. If you want a speaker for your union branch or fringe event - please get in touch.
UCATT Conference (Scarborough)
Tues 29th May - Construction Safety Campaign fringe - Tony O'Brien, Steve Acheson & Roy Bentham
Wed 30th May - Justice for Shrewsbury Pickets fringe - Steve Acheson & Roy Bentham
NSSN Conference (Euston)
Sat 9th June - Construction workshop - Steve Kelly
GMB Conference (Brighton)
Wed 13th June - Official GMB Carillion blacklisting fringe - Dave Smith
UNITE Conference (Brighton)
Mon 25th June - Socialist Appeal fringe - Steve Kelly, Steve Acheson & Dave Smith
Wed 27th June - Official UNITE Construction fringe - Steve Acheson & Dave Smith
Trade Union Coordinating Group (Parliament)
Tues 10th July - Tollpuddle Seminar "Justice at Work"
'We need laws to break blacklists' - UCATT Conference Mon 28 May 2012
Construction union Ucatt vowed on Monday to find out who has been selling state surveillance to companies blacklisting workers.
The union, meeting in Scarborough for its annual conference, pledged to push for new laws criminalising blacklisting and compensating victims.
Northern delegate William Whalen of Carlisle urged delegates to put pressure on MPs for a "full public inquiry" into blacklisting, a call already led by Labour MP John McDonnell.
But Mr Whalen acknowledged that any campaign for legislation would be an uphill battle against a government "hell-bent" on destroying trade unions.
North-West delegate Lol Hunt said he had seen a database where entries on workers included "becoming an anarchist, ex-communist and a union safety rep - do not touch."
Blacklists literally destroyed entire families, he said.
"I'm not talking about getting sacked and looking for another job. I'm talking about never being able to work again, up and down the country.
"Then they fall onto another list - the credit list. It goes on and on and on."
The practice has been a long-term problem in the industry. A major investigation was begun by the Investigation Commissioner's Office in 2009 into the 3,200-name database held by the Consulting Association - a shadowy company which provided lists of workers who were active trade unionists or outspoken on issues like health and safety to subscribing firms.
One hundred victims of the blacklists have filed a class action in the High Court, while another case is pending in the European Court of Justice.
The scandal grew in March when the Information Commissioner revealed that it contained information that could only have come from the police or MI5.
The database is said to contain entries so detailed that investigations manager David Clancy has said: "They wouldn't have formed anything other than a police record."
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said blacklisting was "a terrible crime.
"It will be a long and dire fight, but it's one we're absolutely committed to. The victims of blacklisting have a right to know how the state conspired to destroy people's lives."
The conference continues until Friday.
The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES 13, with all sorts of stuff others won't touch and may be obtained as follows:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included)
Cheques payable to 'Northern Voices' at
c/o 52, Todmorden Road,
Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.