Friday, 29 March 2013

On this day, 18th March 1834, six farm labourers from the small town of Tolpuddle in Dorset were sentenced to be transported to Australia after forming the friendly society of agricultural labourers to protest against the gradual decrease in wages. The society had many of the features of a trade union and swearing an oath of that sort was considered illegal. 2 years later 5 of the 6 men were allowed back home after 800,000 signatures petitioned for their release

An annual festival is held in Tolpuddle to this day organised by the Trade Unions Congress, featuring a march through the town with many trade unions banners sported for the event. 

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