Blacklisting of union members by companies to be outlawed

Blacklisting of union members by companies to be outlawed

The government is to outlaw the use by companies of covert blacklists that have prevented trade unionists from getting work. Ministers have been forced to act after a watchdog exposed widespread blacklisting in the construction industry this year.

The move, due to be announced tomorrow by Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, follows pressure from trade unions and 100 Labour MPs.

It has been welcomed by Brendan Barber, the TUC general secretary, who said: “It is outrageous that unscrupulous employers have been victimising trade unionists through shady blacklisting practices that have no place in a democratic society.”

Blacklisting re-emerged as a political issue in March when the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, closed down a private investigator who had compiled an “extensive intelligence database” of 3,000 workers. Thomas accused 40 construction firms of buying personal data about workers they wanted to vet before employing them.

The firms were alleged to have paid the private investigator, Ian Kerr, to check his files for details of each worker’s trade union activities and conduct at work. The files were said to contain warnings about workers such as “ex-shop steward, definite problems, no go”, and “poor time-keeper, will cause trouble, strong trade union”.

Advertisements

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: