Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/525/3906
End the blacklist!
Electricians Steve Acheson, Graham Bowker and Tony Jones were "unfairly selected for redundancy due to trade union activities" on the Manchester Royal Infirmary site, according to an industrial tribunal. After 97 weeks on the picket line, they have received their award but remain blacklisted by anti-union employers. On the gates of the MRI site, Graham and Steve told Hugh Caffrey about their continuing fight.
"We have received the full amount awarded by our tribunal, £26,500 each. We would like to thank all those who supported us - that includes the FBU, RMT, Unison, Unite and many other unions.
We'd also like to thank the Socialist Party and the only paper to cover our case in 21 months, The Socialist. Unfortunately our predicament has not changed in the slightest and we remain committed to seeking reinstatement or alternative meaningful employment.
Because of our endeavours as trade unionists we face permanent exclusion from our industry. The only form of discrimination permitted is that against trade unionists. We are baffled by the lack of commitment from all the construction unions against this form of discrimination. The silence is deafening.
In our tribunal, the chairman made comment that: 'a blacklist exists in the electrical industry with the purpose of denying trade unionists employment'. Each of us are on that blacklist and have suffered long-term detriment.
A recent audit by a Unite-Amicus official on a nearby job revealed 42 labourers carrying out electrical work on one floor, without one worker with electrical expertise. This is contrary to our national agreements and health and safety legislation. We are determined to campaign for the removal of any stooge 'stewards' who allow this to happen.
We urge all trade unionists to get involved in the National Shop Stewards Network, because it's not just us, it's right across the board, everyone is fighting for their future.
Labour hasn't repealed one anti-union law. We have to question why they've failed to repeal any of the laws brought in by Thatcher to shackle us. We have sent four letters to the Labour-led Manchester council. The last one pointed out their moral obligation to intervene with rogue employers flourishing on government-funded sites. We are still awaiting a response, months later."
In The Socialist 19 March 2008:
National Union of Teachers Conference
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Post Office closures
Socialist Party congress 2008
International socialist news and analysis