Shrewsbury Pickets

Shrewsbury Pickets

shrewsbury-pickets.jpg2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the 1972 National Building Workers Strike. It is over 40 years since the Tory government, along with McAlpine’s set out to make examples of our brothers using the only charge that was almost impossible to overturn – Conspiracy.

All the other charges against our brothers were dropped as they were open to a challenge. Our union has placed the disgraceful arrest, prosecution and conviction of the Shrewsbury Pickets back on the TUC agenda. UCATT is calling for a parliamentary inquiry that should include:

That the inquiry encompasses all dates following and including the 6th September 1972 up until the release of Dennis Warren and Eric Tomlinson.

  • A freedom of information request for the release of all Government and Police papers relating to the ‘Shrewsbury Trials’.
  • An examination of any link between central government and the North Wales and West Merica police divisions’ investigations.
  • Any link between UK Building employers and the Conservative Government and specifically the Home Secretary Robert Carr.
  • An investigation into the systematic intimidation and abuse suffered in prison by Eric Tomlinson and the late Dennis Warren.

Many members will recognise that these issues are the same as those that face us today, although the industries may have changed.  Working people are being subjected to major attacks on living standards, pensions, health & safety and employment rights at work. Strong trade unions, then and now, are the only way that we can defend our hard-won rights and living standards.

UCATT continues fighting to get our brothers exonerated and to campaign to get the total release of all paperwork pertaining to the evidence against the Shrewsbury 24. The Shrewsbury 24 campaign has recently launched two initiatives to have these documents released. shrewsburypetition.pdf

  1. John McDonnell MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion calling upon the Government to release the documents. It currently has 50 signatures. We would ask you to encourage MPs to sign it if they have not already done so. It can be found at:
  2. Ricky Tomlinson created a Downing Street e-petition for the same purpose. A large campaign was launched to get people to sign the e-petition. However in mysterious circumstances it was found that the e-petition was not updating when people signed it. Instead the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign are asking that all trade union activists download a copy of the paper petition, get it filled in and return it to the PO Box on the petition. The Shrewsbury campaing needs 100,000 signatures which must be presented to Downing Street by the end of October 2013.

(Members of the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign at the Durham Gala, July 2013)


Sixteen national trade unions have affiliated to the campaign, as well as many individual branches and trades councils.  They have also received support from the TUC who gave a guest Blog spot to Ricky Tomlinson on their Stronger Unions site:

The latest news from the Shrewsbury 24 campaign is available here.

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