Mar 31 2016

WHY NO PITCHFORD ENQUIRY IN SCOTLAND?

 

Allan Armstrong (RCN) asks why the Pitchford Enquiry into undercover policing does not extend to Scotland.

Home Secretary, Theresa May, announces Pitchford Enquiry for England and Wales only

Home Secretary, Theresa May, announces Pitchford Enquiry for England and Wales only

 

Last July, Theresa May, Conservative Home Secretary, set up the Pitchford Enquiry into undercover policing in England and Wales. The Channel 4 Programme Dispatches had highlighted the role of the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) in trying to undermine the family of Steven Lawrence, as they pressed for justice following his racist murder in 1993. This knowledge only surfaced, when Peter Francis, former police spy, turned whistle-blower, provided the evidence.
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Jan 27 2015

DAVE WILLIAMS – A TRIBUTE

Brian Higgins of the rank and file Building Workers Group sent us this obituary for Dave Williams, a militant building worker and like Brian on the employers’  black list.

 

Campaigning against the blacklist

Campaigning against the blacklist

 

Recently I received the very sad news that blacklisted bricklayer Dave Williams died in November following a serious illness. Condolences to Dave’s family and friends.

He was one of the best and most principled trade unionists I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working alongside. I first met him when I went to London in 1977 to work on the Fairweather site near Clapham Junction where 550 council houses were being built.

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Mar 24 2014

UNDERCOVER BUT WITHIN SITES – POLICE INFILTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS

Emancipation & Liberation has been covering the long term of blacklisting of building worker, Brian Higgins.  Brian has also been involved over many years in a struggle with the UCATT bureaucracy. More recently, developments  over Stephen Lawrence have highlighted the use of undercover police to infiltrate defence campaigns. Here Mark Metcalf reveals how the police infiltrated the Brian Higgins Defence Campaign. 

 

Mark Jenner, police infiltrator into the Brian Higgins Defence Campaign

Mark Jenner, police infiltrator into the Brian Higgins Defence Campaign

 

The government has just ordered an inquiry into the role of undercover police spies. Mark Metcalf, who first revealed the activities of one spy in The Big Issue in the North three years ago, reveals more about his activities and asks whether the inquiry will go far enough.

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Jan 01 2013

COLLUSION AND BETRAYAL

The blacklist is one of the most pernicious tools in the employers’ armoury.  In 2009, its widespread use in the building industry was highlighted by the Information Commissioner’s Office. However, what has also come to light is the collusion of trade union officials in its operation. The article below, revealing the activities of these officials,  is from the latest issue of the rank and file Site Worker paper. More evidence of their betrayals will probably come to light. It may take longer though for information about the third arm of the offensive against trade union activists to surface – the actions of the state. For, ever since the 1972 Building Workers Strike, which led to the jailing of the Shrewsbury Pickets, the state has been determined to ensure that no such challenge  should arise again – and the employers and trade union officialdom have been central to their plans.

Flying pickets in the 1972 Building Workers Strike

Flying pickets in the 1972 Building Workers Strike

When it came to light, after the Information Commissioner’s Office exposed the Consulting Association’s (CA) construction blacklist in 2009, that some Unite and UCATT officials had allegedly been supplying information about rank and file union members directly to the CA, a new trade union low had been reached.

Union officials are supposed to safeguard and protect rank and file union members from the worst excesses and practices of industrial corporations and the bosses who own and run them. Yet here we had union officials actually colluding with a secret employers’ blacklist in the building industry. Trade unionists in the construction industry were denied the right to work, earn a living and to make sites safe. This resulted in dreadful economic and social consequences for them and their families. There can be no greater breach of trade union trust or act of betrayal than this.

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