By Dave Gibson
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Unions voice support for Barnsley Freedom Ride campaign

This article is over 7 years, 8 months old
Issue 2402
Preparing to embark on the Freedom Ride on Monday of last week
Preparing to embark on the Freedom Ride on Monday of last week (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Trade union support is increasing for the South Yorkshire Freedom Ride campaigners.

Protesters have targeted stations across South Yorkshire after councils axed free train travel for older and disabled passengers. 

Dozens of people have been out leafleting Barnsley bus station in preparation for this week’s Freedom Ride, set to take place on Wednesday.

 Mick Whelan, the general secretary of the train drivers’ union Aslef, has written expressing “Aslef’s support for the Freedom Train protest and initiative”. 

And Ian Hodson, national president of the bakers’ union Bfawu, also pledged support. He wrote “to congratulate the organisers and those taking part in this fantastic action on behalf of Bfawu”.

Barnsley Trades Council also now backs the campaign. GMB member Henry Rajch successfully moved a motion congratulating the Freedom Riders. 

It called on South Yorkshire Labour Councils to reinstate the free train travel.

We have had the first signs that our continued campaigning is producing results. 

A delegation of campaigners has been called to a meeting on Thursday of this week with officials from the Transport Executive. The campaign has called a lobby of the meeting.

The campaign has also called a demonstration in Barnsley on Saturday 17 May.

And it plans a lobby of the South Yorkshire Transport meeting in Barnsley at 1pm on 19 May followed by the next Freedom Ride while the meeting is ongoing.

Join the Barnsley Freedom Ride—meet 11am, Wednesday 7 May, Barnsley station. 

Lobby talks—1.30pm, Thursday 8 May, SYPTE Broad Street West, Sheffield. 

Demonstration to reinstate free train travel—11am, Saturday 17 May, Barnsley Eastgate. 

Lobby SYPTE—1pm, Monday 19 May, Regent Street, Barnsley


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