Trade Union Rights

Below are some extracts from yesterday's opposition debate in Parliament on blacklisting:

Ian Lavery (Wansbeck) (Lab): "The blacklisting of trade unionists is an unfair and insidious practice that involves the systematic compilation of information about individual trade unionists by their employers and recruiters in order to discriminate against them, although not just because they are members of trade unions. There are people on blacklists who are not members of trade unions, but who have merely been to their employer and exercised their rights under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, as my hon. Friend the Member for Blaydon (Mr Anderson) said. If there is something wrong in the workplace, there is a duty under that Act to report it. As far as we are aware, people have suffered the consequences of doing that"

John McDonnell MP (Hayes & Harlington) (Lab): "...I want blacklisting to be a criminal offence. I want people to go down for what they have done to working-class people in this country. I want legislation to be retrospective, and I want the burden of investigation to be placed not on the blacklisted worker but on an independent investigator so that we can make sure that these crimes are exposed. My hon. Friends have mentioned the Shrewsbury pickets, and there was a press conference this morning. Forty years on, they have not had justice. I tell you now, we will not rest on this side until we secure justice and proper legislation and we protect workers once again."

Steve Rotherham (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): "I know from personal experience that those who found themselves on blacklists were the kind of workers who fought for a safer work environment for themselves and their colleagues. They were the kind of workers who did not turn a blind eye when the company tried to dock apprentices’ wages, or failed to pay the work force on time. What kind of Parliament would we be if we failed to stand up for responsible workers who have been punished by irresponsible companies for many years? We should all remember that blacklisting was not an act of blissful ignorance, but an act of blatant immorality. It should never be allowed to happen again."

The full transcript can be found at


Category: Trade Union rights