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Blacklisting staff is nothing new

I note an inquiry into the blacklisting of construction workers is proposed by the Unite union ("Inquiry call over workers blacklist", The Herald, January 23).

Blacklisting in one form or another has been going on for years.

In 1948-49, when I was an office boy in Lithgow's East Yard in Port Glasgow, one of my duties was to carry mail to and from the Kingston Yard. Though none of it was addressed to me, some of it was unsealed, and my youthful curiosity led me to have a look at the contents. Sometimes there were lists of workers who were not to be employed on any account, for reasons not given.

Much later, about 1997, during a clear out in the offices of Kvaerner Govan, I salvaged from the skip a volume entitled The Fairfield Engineering Works Memorandum Book. This covered the period from February 1903 to April 1913 and contained pasted-in news articles, letters and inter-yard circulars. There are lists of the names of workers on strike in Paisley, Greenock and Bristol. None were employees of Fairfield, and it seemed to indicate that none were to be taken on as employees of Fairfield.

Hugh VS McIntyre,

63 Pentland Avenue, Port Glasgow.

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