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Blacklist Support Group Latest

17th September 2015

Blacklist Support Group Latest

Points from their TUC Congress week 2015

Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell

Blacklist Support Group congratulates Jeremy Corbyn in his landslide victory in the Labour Party leadership election. Jeremy has always supported blacklisted workers, signing Early Day Motions (when most Labour MPs didn’t), attending BSG meetings in parliament and in his Islington constituency and over the years has stood next to us on picketlines outside building sites.

John McDonnell is a founder member of the Blacklist Support Group - he organised and chaired our first ever meeting in the spring of 2009. He has stood by us ever since; as our spokesperson in parliament, on picket lines, in the media, at our AGMs & meetings. John also wrote the foreword for ‘Blacklisted’ book and is the MP who exposed the role of the police in the blacklisting conspiracy in parliament. One of our own is now the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will rip George Osbourne’s head off. GET IN THERE!

Corbyn’s election is a victory for the trade unions over the Blairites. Corbyn and McDonnell together are a massive boost for the blacklist campaign. It’s just got very interesting.

No Public contracts for blacklisting firms

Corbyn is sending out emails asking Labour Party supporters what questions he should ask Cameron at PMQs. If you are a LP member, you can support the campaign by suggesting that he asks why firms involved in blacklisting trade union members are still being awarded public contracts. The firms need to be punished not trade unions. Make your suggested question short and snappy and please post any on social media.

Message to blacklisting companies: Corbyn and McDonnell both actively support our demand that ‘no public contracts for firms involved in blacklisting’. Be worried.

Motions at TUC Congress on blacklisting and undercover police spying on trade unions.

Motion 74 Blacklisting and state spying on unions
Submitted by: Fire Brigades Union

Congress applauds the tremendous work done by unions and the Blacklist Support Group in campaigning against the blacklisting of workers for trade union activity.
Congress is alarmed by media reports into police spying on, and infiltration of, activist organisations, environmental and anti-racist campaigns, including the Stephen Lawrence campaign.
Congress notes the Home Secretary’s announcement on 12 March 2015 of the Pitchford Inquiry into the operation of undercover police bodies.
Congress further notes the blacklisting meeting at Westminster on 12 March 2015, which heard the statement from a former undercover police officer disclosing that he spied on members of the FBU, UNISON, CWU, NUT and NUS.
Congress notes the significant evidence contained in a number of published books and media articles of police monitoring of, and interference in, the trade union movement
during industrial disputes, union-backed anti-racist and environmental campaigns, as well as routine trade union activity.
Congress demands that these issues are fully addressed by the Pitchford Inquiry and that relevant information is sought by the inquiry without threat (e.g. of prosecution) to those agreeing to provide evidence.
Congress believes that a trade union body such as the TUC, as well as the Blacklist Support Group, should be given ‘core participant’ status in the Pitchford Inquiry.
Congress resolves to campaign for the democratic rights of trade unionists and against secret state interference in the labour movement. This will substantially further the interests of trade union members and elected representatives to engage in their legitimate trade union activities.

Amendment Submitted by: GMB
• Add a final paragraph:
“Furthermore, Congress calls on the European Parliament to ensure both the EU Data Protection Regulation and the EU Health & Safety Strategy 2014–2020 explicitly ban blacklisting of workers for their trade union and health and safety activities.”

Motion 73 Undercover police surveillance of trade unionists
Submitted by: Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
Congress notes that in March 2015 it was revealed that Mark Jenner, a police officer serving in the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), had infiltrated construction union
UCATT and spied on its members.
Congress further notes that former police officer Peter Francis, acting as a whistleblower, has admitted that during his time in the SDS he spied on trade unionists in the construction industry and activists in the NUT, CWU, FBU and the National Union of Students.
Congress is aware that information on the files of workers blacklisted by the Consulting Association could only have been provided by the police or the security services.
Congress is alarmed that attempts to find out further information on the involvement of police officers in infiltrating unions has been blocked by the Metropolitan Police on the grounds of national security.
Congress believes that trade unionists who were spied on by the police have an absolute right to know why they were targeted in this manner.
Congress calls on the TUC General Council to:
i campaign for a full independent public inquiry into blacklisting in order for these and other matters relating to how the lives of workers were ruined are fully revealed
ii ensure that the inquiry being led by Lord Justice Pitchford into undercover policing and the SDS fully investigates the links between the police and blacklisting
iii provide support and assistance to all unions whose members were subjected to secret police infiltration and surveillance.

Amendment Submitted by: National Union of Journalists
• Add new final paragraph:
“Congress further resolves to support the NUJ campaign against surveillance of journalists and calls for further legislative changes, including an independent judicial process; automatic mandatory prior notification; and mechanisms to challenge and appeal in cases where the authorities, including the police, are attempting to access journalists’ communications, materials and sources.”



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