Unite’s leverage campaign, which Len McCluskey has organised in recent years in order to put pressure on the bosses, has been under the spotlight this week in the right wing – no friend of workers or immigrants – rag the Daily Mail, which has had it on its front page every day. The campaign has also featured on prime time BBC news and was on the Sunday Politics this week.
Len McCluskey has defended the tactics of the campaign, in which Unite dedicate resources to highlighting the practices of employers known for bad treatment of Unite members, encouraging and organising lawful protest against bosses guilty of such bad practice.
The rank and file construction workers in Unite are fully behind the campaign. It was extremely succesful in the BESNA dispute and more recently in the Crossrail dispute. It has been used in a number of disputes, including those of Honda, DHL, and Howden workers.
The Mail has accused Unite of bullying bosses, disturbing neighbourhoods, causing stress to joe public, etc., and of going into overdrive during the Ineos dispute. Poor Jim Ratcliffe – Ineos boss, capitalist entrepreneur and all round dictator, a man who said to workers “do as I say or I put you all out of work”!
The blacklisting bosses were not too worried when they blacklisted 3,200 construction workers for daring to speak out about health and safety and only trying to prevent their fellow workers from being killed at work! In fact we now know there was more than one blacklist, and police were spying on us all along. The economic list – a list compiled by right-wing Tories of militant trade unionists – is now out in the open as well; this goes back to the 1950s.
Poor Jim Ratcliffe on his yacht never had to worry about paying his bills or feeding his family; he has more money than many of us could every dream of. We say you are now suffering like we did and its long overdue. The leverage should not be a substitute for industrial action; it is a useful tool which must continue until these bosses start treating us with respect – then and only then we will be in a position to co-operate; it works both ways.
This article was first published on the website of Socialist AppealDomestic (UK)
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This post was written by Alan Keays (Blacklist Support Group)