CAMPAIGNERS from the Blacklist Support Group and builders’ unions Ucatt and Unite faced police in Northampton yesterday as they occupied the British office of Danish-owned employment agency Atlanco Rimec.
The protest was part of a national day of action against “umbrella” tax scams, blacklisting and other abuses in the construction industry in which building sites were occupied and blockaded in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.
UCATT branch secretary Brian Higgins told the Northampton occupation: “Blacklisting of workers for demanding basic human rights such as safe working conditions or unpaid wages is a national disgrace.”
Atlanco Rimec, which operates in the British and Irish construction industries, was exposed on Danish TV last week for keeping a secret blacklist of workers who joined a trade union.
Mr Higgins, a bricklayer who suffered decades of unemployment after his name appeared on the illegal Consulting Association blacklist, said: “Far from being a thing of the past, we now have proof from Danish TV that the practice is still going strong among employment agencies.
“If the government won’t do anything to stamp out this disease then rank and file workers themselves will take direct action to stop it re-occurring.”
Social media sites were alive with reports of the actions across Britain, under the Twitter hashtag fight4PAYE.
A truck with mains cable was turned away after activists blockaded the building site entrance for Cramlington Hospital north of Newcastle.
Other high profile projects such as Crossrail in London and Manchester City’s training ground were also hit.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.