Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/756/16312
Dundee demo against construction industry blacklisting
Philip Stott and Leah Ganley
150 construction workers, their families and supporters took part in an anti-blacklisting demonstration in Dundee on 9 March.
Dundee was chosen for the protest partly because construction giant McAlpine, one of the firms associated with the Consulting Association (CA), is a major contractor on the Dundee waterfront project.
The CA drew up lists of over 3,000 workers in the construction industry who were deemed, as one blacklisted worker described it, as NAAP - Not At Any Price to be employed.
Local retired electricians Francie Graham and Stewart Merchant suffered as a result of this blacklist.
Workers came from across Scotland and as far afield as Manchester. Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, also sent a message of support to the rally.
At least 20 construction companies used the blacklist, including McAlpine. As Jim McGovern Labour MP, who sits on the Scottish Affairs select committee that is taking evidence on the blacklisting issue, commented on Saturday: "during the 1950s communist witch-hunts in the US, at least McCarthy faced the people he was persecuting, but McAlpinism is more shady and sinister."
Trade union activists and the Blacklist Support Group have played a key role in helping to expose the extent of the criminal actions of the construction giants.
As well as demanding a full public inquiry, they are also calling for no public contracts for firms named as helping to operate the blacklist.
It's a scandal that after uncovering 16 years' worth of criminal activity by the construction companies, only one company has been fined £5,000 for a breach of data protection.
Now the pressure on the SNP government and Labour and SNP councils has to be stepped up. The trade unions also need to ensure a major recruitment drive in the construction industry.
They should set-up registered lists of unemployed construction workers and campaign for employers to use these lists for hiring.
Saturday's demonstration was the start of a series of blacklisting protests to demand justice and ensure that there are no more victims of the profit-hungry multinationals' greed.
In The Socialist 13 March 2013:
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