Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
In 2009 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) raided the premises of the Consulting Association. They discovered a blacklist with over 3,200 construction workers names on which had been accessed by over 40 firms. Earlier this year, an electrician was reinstated at the Crossrail project after bringing a claim in the employment tribunal for, amongst other complaints, blacklisting.
Unfortunately blacklisting is a real and current problem which results in hard working, responsible employees who voice their concerns (about, for instance, a faulty fire door) being dismissed and prevented from working within their industry again.
The current legislation to prevent blacklisting is the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010. These Regulations make it unlawful to compile, use, sell or supply a ‘prohibited list’ – a blacklist. Such lists often contain details of people who are or have been members of trade unions or people who are taking part or have taken part in trade union activities.
If you think that you have been dismissed from a job, suffered a detriment at work or have been refused a job, and you believe this may be because of your current or past involvement with a trade union or, for example, whistle-blowing complaints you have made, it may be that your name is on an illegal blacklist.
If you wish to check whether you are on the Blacklist held by the Consulting Association you can call the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. If your details are not on this list, unfortunately it is very difficult to discover if you are on a blacklist; however, here are a few things to bear in mind and some ideas that might assist you if you believe your name might be on a blacklist:
•Your job interview goes well and you receive an immediate positive response from a potential employer. They take up your references and suddenly their attitude towards you becomes cold and formal.
•If this happens we recommend that you communicate with the potential employer and ask them for reasons for their change of heart. It may be that there was genuine, lawful reason (e.g. something in one of your references, such as a large amount of days of absence with an ex-employer).
•If the potential employer will not inform you of their reasons for the change in their attitude it may be that one of your referees is providing you with a negative reference. You could try changing the referees on your CV, one at a time, to a different person in the company that you used to work for. If you are receiving a negative reference from a particular referee, it will become obvious if you successfully obtain employment.
•If the above suggestions fail it may be that you are on a blacklist. Unfortunately as an individual it is very difficult to discover the existence of a blacklist. If you do however learn that you are on a blacklist there are a couple of legal options open to you.
You might be able to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. You should be aware that the time limit for bringing such proceedings is usually three months (less one day) from the date of the act you are bringing a claim for. The Employment Tribunal has the power to extend this limit in exceptional circumstances.
You might be able to bring a claim in the County Court or the Court of Session. In these courts you have six years to commence proceedings from from the date of the act you are bringing a claim for.
Our advice to you is – if you are a trade union member and believe that you are on a blacklist – then contact your union immediately for advice.
This guest blog from Morrish Solicitors is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.
The Spanish state is seizing ballot papers and raiding meetings, write Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte – but it is being met with united resistance
The crunch executive meeting ahead of Labour conference agreed some welcome changes, writes Michael Calderbank, but there is still much further to go
Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth
Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Flooding the cradle of civilisation: A 12,000 year old town in Kurdistan battles for survival
It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth, but a new dam has put Hasankeyf under threat, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
New model activism: Putting Labour in office and the people in power
Hilary Wainwright examines how the ‘new politics’ needs to be about both winning electoral power and building transformative power
What is ‘free movement plus’?
A new report proposes an approach that can push back against the tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Luke Cooper explains
The World Transformed: Red Pepper’s pick of the festival
Red Pepper is proud to be part of organising The World Transformed, in Brighton from 23-26 September. Here are our highlights from the programme
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali
To stop the BBC interviewing climate deniers, we need to make climate change less boring
To stop cranks like Lord Lawson getting airtime, we need to provoke more interesting debates around climate change than whether it's real or not, writes Leo Barasi
Tory Glastonbury? Money can’t buy you cultural relevance
Adam Peggs on why the left has more fun