UNION members should apply to Special Branch to see if undercover cops have gathered intelligence on them, anti-blacklisting campaigner Dave Smith urged CWU conference yesterday.Mr Smith, a blacklisted engineer who recently co-authored a book on the construction industry’s elaborate operation to sideline political and trade union activists, said individuals could place subject access requests to demand their files from police.
The call came as CWU deputy general secretary Tony Kearns said police surveillance of union activities was “no different” to the security tactics deployed by the Stasi in East Germany.
The scale of blacklisting in the building trade came to light in 2009 when the Information Commissioner seized a database from right-wing bosses’ club the Consulting Association containing thousands of entries of so-called troublemakers.
Mr Smith said revelations about police collaboration with bosses compromised cops’ claim to impartiality.Referring to a meeting of the Consulting Association where a senior policeman had addressed bosses, he said: “If a detective chief inspector gives a PowerPoint at a blacklisters’ meeting, that’s not individual corruption. That’s standard practice.”
He alleged that said Special Branch still had a dedicated industrial unit gathering intelligence on trade unionists, and MI5 had a similar operation known as F division.
“This is a human rights conspiracy between big business, the secret police and the security services,” he added.