Construction union UCATT will hold a demonstration in support of victims of blacklisting outside of Manchester Employment Tribunal on 24 November. The tribunal will be hearing the initial cases of blacklisted construction workers.
UCATT general secretary Alan Ritchie said: “Hundreds of construction workers had their lives ruined by the blacklisters. Many of them were forced out of the construction industry. This is the first opportunity workers have had to win justice from the construction companies who blacklisted them.”
The union says “much of the information contained on the blacklist related to a worker’s union membership. In particular workers who had taken on the role of a health and safety representative or had been a whistleblower on dangerous sites were targeted.”
George Guy, regional secretary for UCATT’s north-west region, said: “A large number of UCATT’s activists in the North West were blacklisted, these workers deserve justice. Everyone involved in blacklisting must be brought to book.”
The union says because of the absence of an explicit blacklisting law, Ian Kerr, the boss of blacklisting organisation The Consulting Association, was charged with data protection offences.
The former Special Branch officer pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000, a penalty described by the Information Commissioner Christopher Graham “as simply inappropriate”.
He added: “Here’s a blatant example of a business making a lot of money by trading in people’s data, which I believe parliament could stop if we activated a custodial sentence for the worst offenders.”
* Protest: 9.30am, Tuesday 24 November, Manchester Employment Tribunal, Alexandra House, 14-22 Parsonage, Manchester M3 2JA.