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Anti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites
Swingeing 35% pay cuts were beaten by construction electricians' mass protests and industrial action, but the threat of blacklisting remains.
Defending trade union activists against victimisation is part and parcel of the fight for direct employment.
The construction bosses must be made to actually implement the Joint Industry Board agreement which says that labour should usually be directly employed.
Manchester sparks are continuing their weekly Wednesday protests at the Central Library site in protest at the council's inaction when known blacklisters including NG Baileys are receiving millions of pounds of public money to refurbish the library.
Today they distributed an open letter to councillors, demanding the council acts immediately. Steve Acheson, 'Rank and File' national committee and Unite branch secretary, told me:
"Now the Besna is over, we are doing as we promised to the Labour council at their last full meeting - that we would highlight Baileys' involvement in this human rights abuse, the employers' illegal conspiracy of blacklisting.
"What was noticeable throughout this campaign against Besna has been that our best activists are exiled from the sites.
"Our union needs to show the same commitment over blacklisting that it showed over Besna.
"We are fighting for the future wellbeing of our families, and for the basic principles of trade unionism. We will be here every week, for the full two years of the work being done on this site if necessary - and for longer if the work over-runs!"
- Join the protests - every Wednesday from 7am at Manchester Central Library site, Peter Street entrance.
- Protest to and lobby the council full meeting: Wednesday 7 March, protest from 7am, lobby from around 9am.
Hugh Caffrey, Manchester Socialist Party
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 29 February 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.