Tynan motion on blacklisting pased by Cork City Council

Motion draws attention to sacking of workers on grounds of trade union membership and activity

Councillor Ted Tynan (Workers Party)
Cllr. Ted Tynan

A motion proposed by Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan, which condemns the practice of "blacklisting" of workers on grounds of trade union membership has been passed unanimously by Cork City Council.
The motion was submitted by Cllr. Tynan on foot of an ongoing campaign by the Unite trade union, especially in relation to the huge Crossrail project in London where Unite is in an onging dispute with a consortium of building contractors BAM Ferrovial Kier (BFK) after the dismissal of 29 workers because of trade union activity.

Speaking at the City Council meeting last Monday (June 10th), Councillor Tynan said, "I know most councillors here tonight oppose the practice of ‘Blacklisting’ but after talking with many of you, I know some are concerned about naming specific companies. Therefore I am withdrawing the problematic parts of this motion so that all councillors in this chamber can show their opposition to blacklisting by supporting the amended Motion 11.2 which now only contains the first sentence and the last paragraph.

Why should you vote against blacklisting?

Blacklisting is 

The termination of employment for issues not related to performance, for example:

  • Raising legitimate health and safety concerns
  • Being a member or activist of a trade union
  • Belonging to political parties whose ideals employers do not share
  • The clandestine sharing of lists of said workers names by employers in order to deny access to future employment

Blacklisting not only contravenes citizen’s rights to freedom of association, or their political freedoms to belong to a party, but it also endangers their safety, as well as curtails their employment chances by means of unlawful surveillance and contravention of data protection laws in this country.

We should also note that in our closest neighbour, the UK

A class action High Court Case is pending on blacklisting

Panorama is screening an expose on the practice tonight on BBC

A high proportion of Irish workers in the UK are affected by this.

It is important that we pass policy to make sure such unlawful practices are not carried out over here in Ireland, and therefore I urge you to support the motion.

The motion should now read 

“Cork City Council publicly affirms its opposition to ‘Blacklisting’, an illegal practice that victimises workers on the grounds of trade union membership and legitimate trade union related activity.

This Council believes that blacklisting is an illegal practice and should not be rewarded or tolerated. In conclusion Cork City calls for legislation to deny public contracts to any employer engaging in such activity.”

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics