TSSA delight over Shrewsbury 24 court victory

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has hailed the Court of Appeal victory for the Shrewsbury 24 pickets who have had their names cleared after a near half century battle for justice.

The Court of Appeal today quashed the convictions of the North Wales building workers who were tried for picketing offences in 1973-74.

The 24 trade unionists picketed building sites in Shrewsbury during the 1972 national builders' strike. They were charged with offences including unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate and affray. 22 of them were convicted.

Manuel Cortes said: 

"Our union has always stood in solidarity with the Shrewsbury Pickets and we are delighted they have, at long last, had the justice they deserve.

"However it should never have come to this. Today, the Appeal Court had made plain that the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of these men was not only a grave miscarriage of justice but a direct attack on our trade unions and the legal right to strike and support strike action.

β€œThe Court has confirmed what we knew all along – the Shrewsbury Pickets had a legitimate fight, not just for better pay but improved safety in an industry which regularly saw workers maimed and killed.

"They deserve immense credit for their tenacity in this fight and overcoming many obstacles. All trade unionists know that an injury to one – no matter when it occurred – remains an injury to all.

"No doubt there are still questions to be answered about how this case was handled by the prosecuting authorities, police and Government at the time. Our union will continue to stand with these men and their families until they are satisfied they have all the answers they need."