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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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Spied on by the state and bosses

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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:

triangleSudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

triangleTrump as Nixon: urgent questions about press freedom and the state

triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

Union:

triangleUnison national women's conference

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Construction:

triangleWoolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Militant:

triangleThe Socialist Party is being evicted - we need you!

Lindsey:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Lessons of the 2009 Lindsey Refinery strike

Police:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Crossrail:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

Besna:

triangleLondon Crossrail workers walk out

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