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Government set to ban trade union blacklists: consultation aims for stronger rules to end "unacceptable practice".

The government is set to outlaw secret employment blacklists of union members. It will also launch a consultation in the summer on how the regulations can be refined and improved.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson said: "People should not be victimised at work or denied access to employment opportunities because of their trade union membership.

"There is already legal protection against the misuse of people's personal details. We plan to strengthen the law to outlaw the compilation, dissemination and use of blacklists in this way."

Revelations in March of a widely circulated blacklist of construction workers triggered calls for better safeguards for people's private data and firmer enforcement from the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office).

Under the Employment Relations Act 1999, the government can introduce regulations prohibiting the blacklisting of workers for union membership or activities. In 2003, it consulted on draft regulations, but no hard evidence was found that blacklisting was taking place.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Victimising trade unionists through blacklisting practices has no place in a democratic society. hope the consultation will lead to quick and effective action to outlaw this utterly unacceptable practice."
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Publication:Information World Review
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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