Friday, March 06, 2009
Blacklisted posted by Richard SeymourIt turns out that construction firms have been buying private data on employees, and using it to blacklist union activists. I can only think that practises like this must be fairly widespread, even in those industries where unions are generally banished.
Informal spying on potential employees is understood to happen on a regular basis. I don't want to name any names, but temp agencies have been known to advise candidates to take care as to what information appears on their Facebook pages, Friends Reunited accounts, blogs or other potential sources of information. Employers scrutinise these sites when reviewing candidates details to see if they are about to hand a contract over to a weirdo or some sort of inflexible, awkward miserabilist. Your blog can get you fired, remember. If you are going to have a Bebo or Hi5 page that is accessible to the public, then the best bet is apparently to project the image of a smiley, outgoing, success-driven, active, sporting, party-hard, go-getting sort of narcissistic dimwit: a miniature celebrity, with friends apparently growing out of every crevice. Employers love that shit.
But this is a serious investment both in terms of the upfront costs and the risk of exposing the company to possibly steep fines. Think about how much profit they must have anticipated conserving just by keeping out 'troublemakers'.