Labour Research December 2012

Union news

RMT attacks blacklisting website

The RMT transport union has demanded that action is taken against a blacklisting website targeting trade unionists.

“Telling the Truth about Employees” is the purported mission of the web-based HR Blacklist organisation, which provides subscribers with details about potential employees, in particular whether they are union activists.

RMT says “numerous RMT activists and other union organisers are listed on the site”, including union learning reps “whose only crime is helping colleagues acquire skills, training and education”. A search of the names on the database is free, but detailed files are only open to subscribers.

The website appears proud to describe the organisation’s activities as blacklisting. It even proposes that people earn money as an “HR Agent” by writing resumés of individuals, generally current or former employees, for the database.

HR agents are paid a dollar every time someone uses a resumé they have uploaded and are therefore encouraged to provide as many as possible.

Mike Hughes, author of a book on the best known blacklisting organisation, the Economic League, points out that, although the enterprise is “clearly and explicitly in breach of the UK employment regulations, HR Blacklist currently operates from an IP address in India”.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow is taking advice on how to protect members and activists, and called for the site to be shut down.

The website can be viewed at