Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival Gets Underway
8:42am 18th July 2014
Thousands of people are expected to descend on a Dorset village this weekend for the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival.
Tributes will be paid to Tony Benn, who was a regular guest speaker at the rally which celebrates the 6 Dorset farmer workers who created the first ever trade union back.
They'll also be live music from Paul Heaton from the Housemartins and The Beautiful South
Speakers this year will include TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, TUC president Mohammad Taj and Brazilian trade union leader Antonio de Lisboa Amancio Vale.
Nigel Costley, Regional Secretary of the South West TUC, told Wessex FM:
"180 years on from the Tolpuddle Martyrs and trade unionists are still having to defend themselves from the government."
"Back in 1834 the government used the law to send six farmworkers to Australia to stop them campaigning against low pay; today the government is mooting changing the law on ballots to stop workers from taking strike action against low pay."
The Tolpuddle Martyr's festival starts today (Friday 18th July) and runs until Sunday 20th July.
For more details visit: www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk