Unions welcome blacklisting action, but want more

Unions have welcomed publication of new regulations designed to outlaw the blacklisting of trade unionists. The laws, which need parliamentary approval before taking effect, were announced on 2 December by employment relations minister Lord Young.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of UCATT, said: “Blacklisting is a disgraceful, underhand practice. Until early this year most major construction companies were involved in the blacklisting of workers. The introductions of laws, which are designed to prevent blacklisting, are welcome and long overdue. Never again must the lives of workers and their families be ruined because of blacklisting.”

The union said it will explore with sympathetic backbench Labour MPs if the regulations can be strengthened when they are debated in the House of Commons. Mr Ritchie, said: “UCATT will be working with members of parliament in order to ensure that when the blacklisting regulations are finally introduced they are as robust as possible.”

The new rules were also welcomed by Unite. The union’s assistant general secretary, Les Bayliss, added: “The government must now make it a priority to bring robust regulations into effect. Too many construction workers have suffered victimisation at the hands of unscrupulous employers and it is right to stamp out this practice for good.”

Unite said it had already issued claims on behalf of blacklisted members, under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. UCATT is also supporting tribunal claims.

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