Push to strengthen blacklist law

Construction union UCATT has enlisted the help of a group of Labour MPs in a bid to pressure the government to strengthen the draft regulations designed to outlaw blacklisting. The MPs agreed to take this action at the 20 October parliamentary launch of ‘Ruined Lives’, a UCATT-commissioned academic report which argues the proposed anti-blacklisting regulations are inadequate.

Report author Professor Keith said the draft regulations were “hopeless and inadequate”.

UCATT general secretary Alan Ritchie told the launch how union health and safety reps were especially targeted by companies. He said it was common for them to be laid off soon after taking on the safety rep role, with alternative work subsequently being hard to obtain. He said: “The regulations don’t just have to be watertight, they have to be airtight so the employers can’t wriggle out of them.”

UCATT says the government is due to publish the anti-blacklisting regulations before Christmas – trade paper Contract Journal reported on 14 October “the new regulations are due to be published as a Statutory Instrument within the next few days”.

The Labour MPs backing the campaign to strengthen the law have agreed to ask parliamentary questions, lobby the Department for Business (BIS) and use parliamentary scrutiny methods in order to ensure that the regulations are strengthened. An early day motion tabled by Mick Clapham MP seeks MPs backing for the UCATT campaign.

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