The Blackburn branch welcomed Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson at their annual members’ meeting.
Ricky was promoting the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign. In the early-1970s, Ricky was one of six people jailed for their part in the building workers’ strike. The strike aimed to improve the dangerous working conditions in the construction industry. In all, 24 people were convicted for their involvement in the strike. The campaign is calling for the full disclosure of all the files relating to the Shrewsbury Trials of 1973-74 and aims to get the convictions quashed. Ricky believes the files will help show that the convictions were politically motivated and driven from the very heart of the establishment. The TV star turned to acting to make a living following his jail term as he was then black-listed from working in the building trade.
UNISON Regional Organiser Norma Brown said:
“It is a great coup for UNISON in Blackburn to get such a high-profile and entertaining speaker as Ricky Tomlinson to the AGM. Ricky was a trade union activist and he suffered a great injustice as a result of his efforts to improve conditions for working people. Ricky’s story is inspirational to all those who are working to defend working people today in the face of the Government’s austerity agenda.”