Tag Archives: saltley gate

Speakers Confirmed for Friday’s Saltley Gate Event

Speakers are now confirmed for the Friday (22nd June) evening of Banner Theatre / Trades Council event, Taking the Gloves Off.
There will be a panel of Saltley Gate Veterans and 2 radical journalists, from Egypt and Greece. The event continues on the Saturday with workshops and discussions. For full details, click here

Banner Theatre: “The Battle of Saltley Gate” (1972) + Panel Discussion
£8/£4 on the door, 7.30 pm South Birmingham College, Digbeth
Support acts : North Stoke Miners’ Wives performing group + Sean Taylor

(Info and tickets also available for “Taking the Gloves Off” discussions / workshops, all day Saturday 23rd.)

Full line up of confirmed panellists

Colin Fitzer was working in the trim shop at Rover Solihull in 1972 & was Union Branch Secretary. He was present at Saltley Gate in 1972

Bob Whiskens was working at Rover (Tyseley) in ’72. At 21 he was then one of youngest stewards in the motor industry. He was Shop steward and later was Convenor for all engineering stewards at Rover.

George Gordon was a Shop Steward at BSA in Birmingham in 1972, and was part of the mass action at Saltley Gate

Norman Goodwin was a Shop Steward at GKN Transmissions, Witton in 1972. and led a contingent of workers to Saltley Gate.

Mostafa Bassiouny, (Egypt) is a senior journalist on Al-Tahrir newspaper, Egypt. He is a well-known labour correspondent, and has covered developments in the Egyptian workers’ movement for several different publications since the beginning of the anti Mubarak movement from 2006. Al-Tahrir newspaper is an independent daily paper which played an important role in proving and publicising military attacks on demonstrators in Tahrir Square in December, which the military had denied.

Georgia Mylonaki (Greece ) was recently elected to the worker’s committee of the newspaper “Eleftherotypia”, currently on strike for several months. She has been a journalist since 1999, working in the night shift at Eleftherotypia. She is a member of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Greece and an active member of the Greek Solidarity Association to the Palestinian People. She has visited Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon as a solidarity activist.

Charlie McLaren worked as a miner at Florence Colliery (Stoke on Trent) from 1954. In 1972 he was a member of the local NUM Branch Committee. He later won a Union scholarship to Ruskin College, after which he was black-listed by Florence. After the 1984 strike he was victimised and sacked, despite winning a tribunal appeal. He has since taught Trade Union Studies, in Stoke on Trent

Jim Dowling was a mining Electrician at Hemheath Colliery. He was elected onto the NUM Power Group Branch Committee, and later a member of the NUM National Executive.

Dave Douglass was an NUM branch official at Hatfield Main Colliery, Doncaster for 25 years. He was a member of the Yorkshire area Executive and Vice-Chair South Yorkshire NUM. A writer for the miners website http://www.minersadvice.co.uk, he is a mining historian and author. Member of the NUM for 48 years and currently also a Member of the IWW.

The panel discussion will not only a look back at Saltley Gate, 1972, but also look forward to what is happening now and what is to come in 2012/13 and beyond…..


Filed under Events

Taking the Gloves Off – A Festival of Song, Theatre and Debate for a Better World

On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June, Birmingham Trades Union Council and Banner Theatre present Taking The Gloves Off. You can view and download the (folding) flyer by clicking here for the PDF

2012 is the 40th anniversary of the historic working class victory of Saltley Gate, closing the huge Saltley coke depot and helping win the 1972 strike for the miners.

At a time of unprecedented attacks on our living standards and welfare state, Taking the Gloves Off looks at key battles and victories of the past – not in nostalgia but seeking ideas for winning a better world for the future.

In 1972 the Tory government introduced the Industrial Relations Act aiming to make workers pay for the crisis of capitalism. Resistance followed. The miners, with solidarity from 30,000 Birmingham engineers striking in support, broke the wage restraint and put the Tory government on the defensive. Now more than ever we need to learn lessons on how to win.

Taking the GLOVES OFF!

  • What relevance is the 1972 labour movement victory at Saltley to the campaigns against the government’s austerity programme?
  • How do students develop successful strategies for gaining free education for all?
  • How do community activists expose and defeat the tax dodging strategies of the rich?
  • How do workers build trade unions with strong grassroots energy and democratic control?

Please join and invite your friends to the Facebook event


Banner Theatre presents: The Battle of Saltley Gate

“All you could hear was close the gates, close the gates, close the gates, on and on and on..” – Don Perrygrove , car worker.

Dave Rogers and Fred Wisdom tell the story of Saltley Gate – a key battle in the 1972 miners’ strike – in song, music and cabaret.
Based on extensive interviews with miners, car workers and factory workers recorded by Banner in 1972 and in 2012, this multi-media production connects a key trade union battle to the major struggles of today.

“We need Banner’s inspiring pro-union productions to raise awareness and challenge the myths propagated by the corporate media.” Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS union.

The Battle of Saltley Gate
Friday 22nd June, 7.30pm

Birmingham Trade Union Education Centre,
Floodgate St, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SU
Tickets £8 (or £4 conc) on the door
Call Banner Theatre on 0121 551 7216 for advance bookings.


Remembering where we’ve been…

What tactics and strategies were (and were not) successful in the heady days of 1970s trade unionism – Saltley Gate, the UCS occupation, the Pentonville Five, car workers, and the 1972 building workers strike?
What are the practical lessons for our class to take into today’s struggles such as the sparks dispute and defence of pensions? How can they be applied in today’s conditions?
Plus guest speaker from Greece

Civil disobedience today…

Even union general secretaries and MPs know that direct action works.
Solidarity and diversity of tactics get the goods, from the docks of Oakland to the students of Glasgow University’s victorious Hetherington occupation.
Plus guest speaker from Egypt Mostafa Bassiouny, journalist from Al-Tahrir newspaper

• Video footage
• Firsthand accounts
• Sharing Experiences
• What next…

Saturday 23rd June 2012, 11am – 5pm
Unite HQ, 211 Broad Street, B15 1AY
£5/£3 conc or £10/£6 conc with Friday night


Filed under Events