Too many construction workers and their families have suffered just because they had concerns over health and safety in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries, or just because they belonged to a trade union.
Blacklisting is a national scandal and the trade unions are determined to stamp out this practice because it ruins lives and has no place in a modern society.
Now we hear that there are plans by the conservative party to allow employers to arrange their own externally audited health and safety inspections and ban the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors from the workplaces. Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke has published a report, ‘REGULATION IN THE POST-BUREAUCRATIC AGE’, which stated that the Tories plan to “drastically curb” the powers of HSE inspectors “by allow companies to arrange their own externally audited inspections, and providing they pass, to then refuse entry to official inspectors”.
Today, at this Full Council Meeting, Suffolk County Council will receive the Equalities and Inclusion Annual Report. On page 74 of your papers, it states that Suffolk County Council signed up to the Equality and Human Rights Commitment Charter in 2011. I quote:
“We are determined to treat our staff and the people of Suffolk fairly. To make sure this happens we will take the following actions: –
• Make sure we don’t break any equality laws or codes of practice
• Work to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Do our best to make sure our staff and contractors are aware of the importance of treating people fairly
• Make sure our recruitment procedures are fair and our staff are properly trained
• Do all we can to stop harassment, discrimination and bullying at work
This commitment was renewed in January 2013.
By supporting our motion, you will show your commitment to health and safety at work, to upholding the law and avoiding employment tribunal claims, and to putting into practice the Equalities and Human Rights charter which we are signed up to.
Failure to support our motion will reinforce the impression that privatisation and divestment are a recipe for penalising the workforce.