Blacklisted! A history of rank-and-file class struggles on construction sites

Winter 2016

This article charts the history of widespread illegal ‘blacklisting’ of active trade unionists and socialists working in the UK construction industry. Blacklisting had long been a practice by employers in the construction industry, but it was escalated after the rise of the more militant rank-and-file shop stewards’ movement in the 1960s. The consequences of these events are followed through to the present day. The paper demonstrates that, in spite of protection of workers’ trade union rights in law, in prac-tice the framing, policing and implementation of the UK criminal justice system has protected the interests of capital and has been found wanting when it comes to protecting workers from corporate and state ‘crime’. As with all struggles between capital and labour, this case study demon-strates that only the most determined and sustained efforts by workers over decades brought some recompense but, as yet, not justice.

Socialist History Journal, Issue 50: Before 68