5 May 2013
Unite Scottish Rank & File and the Blacklist Support Group staged a demonstration at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Thursday 2 May.
The demo was called to highlight the blacklisting scandal and put pressure on the Scottish Government to use the upcoming Procurement Reform Bill to ban companies involved in blacklisting from publicly funded contracts.
Protesting against blacklisting at the Scottish Parliament
Neil Findlay MSP had secured a members debate in the afternoon on blacklisting which up to 50 from the demonstration observed from the public gallery.
The demo was not only supported by Neil Findlay but by a number of other MSP’s, including Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, who all came outside to meet with the blacklisted workers and supporters.
The message was made clear to the Scottish Government in the debate that the companies involved in blacklisting should be banned from tendering for publicly funded contracts until they apologise to those affected, compensate those affected and provide definitive proof that they no longer use blacklists.
There was also a call for a full public inquiry in Scotland to get to the bottom of the full extent of blacklisting and to unearth evidence of continued blacklisting on current publicly funded construction projects, the New Forth Crossing was an example that was used.
A very successful day which has pushed blacklisting right up the political agenda in Scotland.
Blacklist Support Group banner
In Manchester an anti-blacklist protest was held outside of Manchester City Football Club’s training ground which is being rebuilt by BAM.
30 people joined the lively protest part of an ongoing series of ‘leverage protests being organised jointly between Unite, the Blacklist Support Group and the Construction Rank and File.
Protest at MCFC training ground
Steve Acheson, who was sacked from an engineering project near Warrington in 2008, was there. Steve has been protesting at the site each week ever since to highlight blacklisting.
He said, “I’ve waited a long time for the union to get on board but unite have really got stuck in with some impact. This is an excellent attack on blacklisting companies but we need the whole labour movement to get in involved.”
Steve faces losing his house due to unemployment. A defence campaign has been launched to raise the £25,000 he needs. The campaign’s run by Warrington Trades Council has Len McCluskey, John McDonnell MP and Bob Crow RMT as its honorary presidents.
If you would like to donate to the fund send a cheque payable to “Fiddlers Ferry Hardship Fund” and send c/o Warrington Trades Union Council, 6 Red Gables, Pepper Street, Warrington, WA4 4SB.
In London anti blacklist protests continued with a demonstration outside the ‘Considerate Constructors Awards’ on Friday 3 May.
Protesting outside the Considerate Constructors awards
Thanks to Stewart Hume in Scotland and Aidan Lawler in Manchester.