David Cameron has been asked to right a 40-year wrong on the anniversary of 24 construction workers being put on trial in Shrewsbury for their trade union activities.
In a letter to the prime minster, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “There have been many miscarriages of justice uncovered in recent years and this I believe will be another.”
The workers had been peacefully picketing construction sites in the town during 1972 in support of the nationally called building workers strike when police arrested them.
After lengthy trials at Shrewsbury crown court, six of the workers, including actor Ricky Tomlinson, who was then working as a plasterer, were jailed.
Len McCluskey said: “It was forty years ago today (3 October) that 24 construction workers were put on trial in Shrewsbury for their trade union activities.
“The workers have been protesting their innocence ever since and are progressing an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
“Many, including Unite, believe that the trial was politically motivated, evidence deliberately withheld and charges falsified in what was a gross miscarriage of justice.
“These beliefs are reinforced by the refusal of government to release all government papers, documentation and evidence relating to the arrest and prosecution of the pickets, citing ‘national security’ in their defence against requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.
“I would ask that you take this opportunity 40 years on to right the wrongs of the past and intervene to ensure that justice can be seen to be done in this case.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.