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CAMPAIGNERS from the Blacklist Support Group and builders’ unions Ucatt and Unite faced police in Northampton yesterday as they occupied the British office of Danish-owned employment agency Atlanco Rimec.
The protest was part of a national day of action against “umbrella” tax scams, blacklisting and other abuses in the construction industry in which building sites were occupied and blockaded in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.
UCATT branch secretary Brian Higgins told the Northampton occupation: “Blacklisting of workers for demanding basic human rights such as safe working conditions or unpaid wages is a national disgrace.”
Atlanco Rimec, which operates in the British and Irish construction industries, was exposed on Danish TV last week for keeping a secret blacklist of workers who joined a trade union.
Mr Higgins, a bricklayer who suffered decades of unemployment after his name appeared on the illegal Consulting Association blacklist, said: “Far from being a thing of the past, we now have proof from Danish TV that the practice is still going strong among employment agencies.
“If the government won’t do anything to stamp out this disease then rank and file workers themselves will take direct action to stop it re-occurring.”
Social media sites were alive with reports of the actions across Britain, under the Twitter hashtag fight4PAYE.
A truck with mains cable was turned away after activists blockaded the building site entrance for Cramlington Hospital north of Newcastle.
Other high profile projects such as Crossrail in London and Manchester City’s training ground were also hit.
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