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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 March 2015

Spied on by the state and bosses

Neil Cafferky

One of the key industrial battles of the last five years has been the struggle of workers in the construction industry for trade union rights and better terms and conditions.

There have been a number of high profile disputes such as Lindsey, BESNA and Crossrail. A vital weapon of the employers has been victimisation of union activists.

Central to this strategy was the blacklist, where a shadowy organisation called the Consulting Association kept a central database of union activists. Those workers were then systematically excluded from employment by the big construction firms.

'Blacklisted', a new book released this month, tells the story behind this 30-year conspiracy against union activists. The book is co-authored by Dave Smith a prominent construction militant and Phil Chamberlain, an investigative journalist.

As well as detailing the close links between construction industry bosses and the Consulting Association the book also reveals the active collusions of the government security services in passing on information about political activists to employers. In many cases this led to people being excluded from employment simply for taking part in legitimate protests and campaigns.

These revelations come on the back of the scandal of undercover police targeting and infiltrating political organisations in the 1990s such as Militant and Youth Against Racism in Europe (YRE), as well as spying on the family of black murdered teenager, Steven Lawrence.

It reveals, once again, that far from being neutral guardians of public safety the security services are a tool of the employers and their political representatives in power. It therefore comes as no surprise that an independent inquiry into Blacklisting and the role of the security services has been ruled out by the Tories.

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In The Socialist 11 March 2015:


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Related links:

Blacklisting:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleUnite protest against blacklisting

triangleNorth east England blacklisting conference success

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

State:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleSpain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

triangleThe "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody

triangleCatalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic

Union:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

Construction:

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

Militant:

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

Lindsey:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Lessons of the 2009 Lindsey Refinery strike

Police:

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Crossrail:

triangleUnite election - fight the Blairites, vote Len McCluskey

Besna:

triangleLondon Crossrail workers walk out

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