UCATT outrage at blacklisting law flaws

Construction union UCATT fears new regulations designed to outlaw blacklisting contain so many loopholes they will not deter the practice. It says the proposed measures appear “to give the green light to employers to blacklist in certain circumstances.”

UCATT had argued the regulations should not just make it illegal to blacklist for “trade union activities” but should prevent blacklisting for “activities associated with trade unions”. It says the government has totally ignored this, which could leave workers vulnerable to blacklisting, with the risk “clearest in the event of workers stopping work due to serious safety concerns.”

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of UCATT, said: “Not only are these regulations entirely inadequate, the government’s consultation response favours the continuation of blacklisting in certain circumstances.” The union says the government also failed to address “the routine blacklisting of safety representatives and campaigners, which was a notable feature of the Consulting Association’s blacklisting practices.”

UCATT is concerned with the government’s statement “does not consider that a safety exemption should be created.”

It says it is “highly disturbed” that the failure to specifically protect safety representatives and the allowance of “vetting” for activities other than trade union matters, will mean that these workers will continue to be considered by employers to be “troublemakers” and “undesirable people” and as such will continue to be blacklisted.

The union says it will be working with sympathetic Labour MPs “to have the regulations radically overhauled.”

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