Ricky Tomlinson attended the North West Regional Council AGM to speak about the important Shrewsbury 24 campaign.
In 1972, building workers held their first ever national strike for decent pay and health & safety at work. Five months after the strike ended, 24 trade union members were charged with offences allegedly arising from picketing in Shrewsbury in September 1972. They included individuals who were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to imprisonment. They were convicted at Shrewsbury crown court in 1973 and six were jailed. Tomlinson got two years and Des Warren three years.
Government files relating to the strike have been withheld from the National Archives even though more than 30 years have passed. The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, has recently announced that crucial Government documents relating to the Shrewsbury pickets’ trials in 1973 are to be kept locked away for a further 10 years on the grounds of national security - 50 years after the dispute took place. The ban on release of the documents will be reviewed again in 2021.
There is a government e-petition titled calling for “full disclosure of all Government documents relating to the 1972 building workers strike and the conspiracy trials at Shrewsbury”.