Defending jobs and conditions at Fiddlers Ferry

A good spread of Warrington trade unionists and construction workers from across the north-west came to a meeting organised by Warrington trades council. The meeting was to campaign against the blacklisting of union activists in the construction industry, recently exposed by the Guardian newspaper and the Information Commissioner.

Blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson spoke, outlining his exclusion from work over the last nine years.

The Labour government made a law to make blacklisting illegal in 1999, but then stopped short of passing the regulations necessary to give effect to the law they had passed.

There was a lively discussion on the blacklist, its effects and also the somewhat muted response of the Unite trade union to the confirmation of the existence of the blacklist. It was agreed to attend a protest at Fiddlers Ferry power station on 1 May, in solidarity with Steve, after he was unfairly selected for redundancy on the site 19 weeks ago.

A resolution was unanimously passed to forward to the Merseyside Association of Trades Councils and to put to other trade union branches.

At the protest, the union rep from the power station came out for a word. These workers are potentially very powerful – Fiddlers Ferry generates 3% of England’s electricity. At the end we were offered breakfast from the power station canteen!

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A Warrington trades council delegate