The SNP government in Scotland have been listening to trade unions and the Blacklisting Support Group over the scourge of blacklisting and have been offering kind words of sympathy and support.
But what have they actually delivered?
In November 2013 the Scottish Government launched it’s guidance note on blacklisting. It was claimed that this was a ‘major step forward’ in the fight for justice for blacklisted workers and their families. However this guidance note has proven to be ineffective because since that time, 16 public sector contracts have been awarded to some of the blacklisting companies, identified after the raid on the Consulting Association by the Information Commissioner‘s Office in 2009. Contracts amounting to over £900m. This is a national scandal.
At the time, we argued that the guidance note didn’t go far enough and that we needed a statutory instrument to give the guidance some teeth. The SNP have failed to put this on a statutory footing.
So what does this say about the commitment of the SNP?
It is worth noting that they also rejected an amendment on blacklisting, proposed by Neil Findlay in consultation with trade unions, at the second reading of the Procurement Reform Bill, and there is no mention of blacklisting in the statutory procurement guidance launched earlier this month.
The SNP, while saying the right things, are actually delivering very little to deliver the justice that we all demand.
We must increase the pressure on ministers in the Scottish government to actually act, on what they agree to be a scourge on our society.
Words are not enough, this inaction is a slap in the face to those workers and their families, who’s lives have been ruined by these cretinous companies.
We need and demand action.