Last Sunday, 20th July, a group of Branch members visited Tolpuddle, the village in Dorset where trade unionism was born.
In 1834, six village farm workers faced a concerted attack on the level of their wages by the landowner. They banded together, understanding that their only chance of improving their lot was to form a union. The Establishment at the time, outraged at their attempt to redress the power between worker and master, sentenced the men to seven years’ transportation to Australia, though the men were returned to England after three years due to a massive public campaign to demand their release.
Each year the labour movement congregates in Tolpuddle to commemorate these six brave individuals who started an international movement.