Wednesday, 22 May 2013

George Tapp's Campaign Against the Blacklist

LAST night, Northern Voices was told by a spokeswoman at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) that George Tapp, who was injured last Wednesday during a demo against a company 'BAM' believed to be involved in the blacklisting of construction workers in this country,  is about to be moved from the Emergency Trauma Unit at the MRI to the Salford Royal Hospital (the old Hope Hospital).  We were told that Mr. Tapp is now stable, but an officer in the Greater Manchester County Association of Trade Union Councils (TUCs) said that 'George (aged 64) will never work again'.

George Tapp, is a member of the Greater Manchester Construction Branch of Unite (EPIU NW 1400/7 branch), and was present at the last branch meeting when I attended on the 13th, May.  George was instrumental in getting a motion condemning local authorities and other public bodies, such as Tameside MBC, that are still awarding contracts to companies that were affiliated to the now defunct Consulting Association.  This motion was formerly moved at the conference of the North West TUC held in March, and George told me after the conference that he was disgusted that the motion which had been produced by the Manchester electrician's branch of Unite for the Greater Manchester Assoc. of TUCs, had not been discussed by the delegates at the conference.  His view he told the branch was that this emergency motion ought to have been fully discussed after the actor, Ricky Tomlinson, had spoken to the conference on the issue of the Shrewsbury pickets:  Ricky Tomlinson had addressed the North West TUC conference to call for justice for the Shrewsbury 24, who had been arrested in 1972 during a building workers strike and put through a conspiracy trial at Shrewsbury.

Sources close to the North West TUC suggested at the time that there was some opposition within the trade union movement to moves to expose the blacklist, and to the attempt to get local councils to avoid awarding contracts to building companies that had affiliated to the blacklisting body the Consulting Association.  This would embarrass some Labour Councils such as Tameside MBC, led by Kieran Quinn and the Labour Party, that have blatantly given contracts to Carillion a company known to have had membership.  There
has also been allegations that some union officials have been implicated in the blacklisting of union members.

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