Ten Times Workers Beat the Bosses in 2021

We are delighted that Tribune has included us in their end of year feature, “Ten Times Workers Beat The Bosses in 2021“.

The Shrewsbury 24 Overcome Five Decades of Injustice

48 years ago, on 19 December 1973, three convicted pickets were ferried by prison van from Shrewsbury Crown Court to the nearby prison to begin their jail sentences. This year, on the anniversary of that awful day, I accompanied John McKinsie Jones back to the prison (now a visitor attraction), to reflect on the miscarriage of justice that led him to be given a nine-month sentence for alleged picketing offences.

John said that it was the worst day of his life, just six days before Christmas. His wife Rita was eight months pregnant at the time with their second child. The anguish of leaving her and their one-year-old daughter devastated him. He has never got over it.

John and other pickets worked with the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign over the past fifteen years to overturn their convictions. Although the Criminal Cases Review Commission rejected the pickets’ applications in 2017, John never gave up. He and seven of his fellow pickets were determined to obtain justice and, together with the Campaign, fought on. He and Rita came with me and other members of the Campaign to a deserted London on 3 February 2021 to sit in Court 4 of the Royal Courts of Justice for the appeal hearing.

At 10:30am on 23 March I was delighted to ring John to break the news that the Court of Appeal had quashed all the pickets’ convictions. John was overjoyed and said, “The living hell that the Shrewsbury pickets have been through for nearly fifty years should never have happened. It should not happen to anyone else who takes part in a strike.”

We have achieved justice because we never gave up. It has been a memorable victory for the whole labour and trade union movement.

– Eileen Turnbull, Researcher and Secretary of the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign

The full Top 10 can be seen here.

Walking with the Shewsbury 24 We Won banner through Shrewsbury.

Leading the march through Shrewsbury to the celebratory event organised by Shropshire & Telford Trades Council, Saturday 2 October.