Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/582/7398
Battling against the blacklist
Manchester electrician Colin Trousdale wrote this diary to illustrate the effect of the blacklist clearly being operated by some construction employers.
Blacklisted electricians protesting at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site, photo by The Socialist
Tuesday 12 May
Got a phone call for a start for an agency. First sniff of work in over five months.
Wednesday 13 May
Got to site - Media city, the BBC's new home. Starting for principal electrical contractor's sub-contractor.
Refused entrance to principal electrical contractor's site induction and transferred 20 miles to another site.
Got a phone call at 2.30pm saying that I could go home as my services were no longer required due to a clerical mix up in the amount of sparks needed.
Went back to Media City. Spoke to the site convenor, got reinstated to Fab shop for duration of my contract (12 days).
Thursday 14 May
Got a phone call to say that I was finishing Friday.
Friday 15 May
Handed in my grievance letter for breach of contract.
Monday 18 May
No response to my letter, no work.
Tuesday 19 May
Myself and two other blacklisted electricians, supplemented by Brian Bamford, Tameside TUC and Andy Ford, Warrington TUC (thanks lads) set up a peaceful protest outside the site.
7.30am, approached by convenor, asked our aims and how long we intended to be there. The answer of "duration of the job" brought a wince.
11.00am the convenor came out and said he was trying to organise a meeting. We packed up the banners for the day and left.
12.00 got a phone call - could I come back for a meeting? Met with principal electrical contractor's labour manager who said they weren't blacklisting.
I showed him my file with his company's name on it . He apologised and reinstated me, giving me three weeks work via the agency but for the company not a subbie, so the rate was a bit better.
This just goes to show the power of unity. I can only thank my comrades and assure them that I will make every endeavour to get them working too.
In The Socialist 5 June 2009:
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review
Marxist analysis: history