Category: Barnsley Community Center

Fight the Trade Union Bill!

Dear Colleagues
As you know, the TUC is organising a lobby of parliament on 2 November 2015, as part of our campaign to stop the government’s Trade Union Bill.  We want MPs to hear directly from their constituents that:
·         The Bill threatens the right to strike
·         Employers will be able to break strikes by bringing in agency workers to cover for strikers, which could risk public safety and impact on the quality of service.
·         The Bill proposes new heavy-handed restrictions on picketing and protests – striking workers will have to tell their employer all of their plans (including what they will post on Facebook or Twitter or whether they will use a loudspeaker) two weeks before they strike.
·         Threatening the right to strike tilts the balance in the workplace too far towards the employers and that will mean workers can’t stand up for decent services and safety at work, or defend their jobs or pay.
Every MP should recognise that their constituents have a right to lobby them, whether or not you voted for them.  You can lobby your MP either in Parliament or at the constituency surgery which most MPs will organise on a regular basis.  If they don’t have regular surgeries, they will usually list a phone number on their website where you can make an appointment to see them.
I attach here information the TUC’s Trade Union Bill Briefing, which gives full information about the Bill which you can use when speaking to your MP.
Below are further links to information which I hope you will find useful:
Find our who your local MP is     
Send them an email or write a letter at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.  An example of a letter can be found at
Organise a petition:  download a petition here   Send your petition to your local MP and email national TUC at Congress House at to let them know that you’ve sent it.
A4 posters for stalls, events, meeting or workplaces can be downloaded at
I hope that you will find this information useful – please keep us informed of any campaigning work that you are doing in the region.
Many thanks
Chris Beastall
Yorkshire & the Humber TUC
West One
114 Wellington Street
Leeds LS1 1BA
T: 0113 242 9696

Red Tattoo Donate £1500 towards Unite Community ESOL Classes!


Barnsley Unite Community Activists would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Red Tattoo and piercing in Leeds for their generous donation of £1500 towards our ESOL project link to the website here Red Tattoo donated a whole days takings from their shop as well as receiving art work, gifts, cakes and donations on the day which was sold to customers both new and old! Thanks again for everybody who helped! The donation will go a long way to help provide English Classes through the Unite Learning project which the Unite activists are planning on expanding. Watch this space for more developments ……………. Photos from the day below.

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Watch the trailer for Sleaford Mods’ Invisible Britain

Unite Community Activists from Barnsley helped with the making of this hard hitting documentary from the Sleaford Mods “Invisible Britain”

The band’s “state of the nation” documentary combines interviews, live footage and a look at how individuals and communities are campaigning against austerity measures

Red Tattoo and Piercing Fundraising Day for ESOL *Sunday 27th September*

re3 red1 red2On Sunday 27th September we will be having a fundraising day for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).  ESOL is run by Unite Barnsley Community Support Centre and Unite Community Branch alongside the British Red Cross as weekly drop in sessions to help refugees and Asylum Seekers learn English. In order to deliver the course they rely on donations to pay for Unite Community membership (£26 per year) and room hire costs. We hope to raise £1000+ for Unite so they can carry on running these wonderful classes!

Below is some more info about Unite Barnsley’s ESOL Sessions and it contains a very moving story from Linda,who runs the sessions.

“We started the sessions at the end of June and have 15 people every week and some days have had to turn people away as physically haven’t got the room to accommodate.

The students are from mainly from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran and the Congo. These people have all had difficult journeys in getting to Barnsley, but one couple really ‘got to me’. An elderly couple, a 71 year old Geography Professor and his Physics Lecturer wife in her 60’s from Syria. Talking to them after the class they told me how they had literally fled for their lives after seeing friends beheaded, their home and community burnt to the ground.  I am not one normally lost for words but all I could do was give her a big hug. I cannot imagine my parents going through the same thing at a stage in their lives when they should be enjoying retirement and family.

With regards to the ESOL Project in Barnsley, Barnsley is  one of the designated towns that the Home Office disperse Asylum Seekers and Refugees to whilst there applications are being processed. They are given a meagre allowance of £36.95 a week to buy food and toiletries, if refused asylum this goes down to £35.39.

Refugees are unable to access ESOL at the local College until they have 6 month’s residency and the course costs £ 250. As this group are only given short term residency at a designated accommodation this is not suitable or practical. The sessions that Unite are facilitating are based on everyday situations, i.e. registering with a doctor; making appointments etc., which hopefully give them a base so that even they attend just one session they will hopefully gain a little knowledge. Several of the cohort are also through Unite Community membership accessing Free I.T. courses at the Barnsley C.S.C. Their membership is sponsored via donations from Union Branches in the area.

On the day we will have tattoo walk-ins and piercings all day as well as prints from various artists and a bake sale! Our fundraiser will start at 9.30 am and all tattoos will be done on a first come first serve basis so the earlier you come in the better!

We are also setting up a donation point in the shop for people to drop off clothing and other items to be sent to Calais!

Here is a list from NO BORDERS LEEDS of everything that is needed!

Please only collect wishlist items:

*Strong plastic sheets/tarps/pallets/canvas/building materials for strong shelters (if you come with a van, many places to pick up free pallets and buy materials in Calais)
*Sleeping bags & roll mats
*Non-perishable food, flour & oil
*Containers/Jerrycan for food and water
*Shoes (practical waterproof hiking boots best, size 42 most needed)

You can bring your donations to the shop during opening hours!

Monday to Friday 10 am until 6 pm

Sunday 11 am until 4 pm

PLEASE ONLY DONATE ITEMS FROM THE LIST OF THINGS NEEDED! We will start collecting from Friday 11th September.

More info on Learning with Unite can be found here :

and another link to an award that the programme has won:

Information on more ways you can help refugees in Leeds follow the link below :

Take Action against Sports Direct! Scrap Zero Hours!


Trade Unionists, Community Groups and Activists Plan wave of Protest against Zero Hours September 9th! Get Involved! Direct Action Gets the Goods!

Get Involved! Email Your Unite Community Coordinator for more info!

Direct Action Gets The Goods! See our Win against Pizza Express here:

Guardian Article on Unites Pay Claim


Pressure Mounts on Sports Direct Chairman

Previous Action From Unite Community Pictures Below


Sticker Campaign against the Rip off Sports Direct!

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Jeremy Corbyn in Sheffield

South Yorkshire Community Members were delighted to get the chance to see Jeremy Corbyn yesterday in Sheffield and took the opportunity to distribute 100’s of our flyers urging those not in employment to organise within our Community’s. See a snap shot of Jeremy’s speech highlighted above where he talks about solving the countries housing crisis, helping people back into work and reducing the Welfare bill! sensible policy’s that reject the Madness of Austerity and paint a vision for a healthy society built on need rather than cruel and unnecessary cuts and poverty wages. Yet again 100’s of people packed the meeting and 100’s more attended the overflow Rally outside proving that Corbyn’s policy’s are attracting the attention of the massive sections of our community. Tony Blair has been attacking Corbyn yet again today talking about “Alice in Wonderland” ideas, but it seems the more Corbyn is vilified by the right the more support he attracts! see below some photos from the Rally including our fantastic banner of Course!

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Action Packed Day in the Community Centre

Busy day at the office yesterday, 15 ESOL learners in our class today, Richard Vivian gave a lengthy interview with Channel4 about the cruel and unnecessary welfare Reform and the devastating effects on our community’s, and on top of all that we had our fantastic  colleagues from Unite Community Stoke on Trent visit us with David Condliffe! All in all a very good and productive day!

Spanish Civil War Tour

Recently one of our Unite Activists took part in a Tour of Barcelona to learn about, The Spanish Civil War, a pivotal event in working class history and with the defeat of the workers movement saw the rise of fascism across Europe. Below are details on how took book the tour, information and films.

“Do you want to know how the people of Barcelona lived 70 years ago at the height of the Civil War? Relive the historic events in Barcelona between 1936 and 1939 with an expert historian while you discover some of the key areas of the city.”



“We invite you to take a journey back in time and discover, with an expert guide, what everyday life was like in Barcelona for more than 30 months when Barcelona was in the rear-guard of the Spanish Civil War. The 1936 Olympic Games, the defeat of the military uprising, the libertarian revolution and the militia, the realities of daily life, the “May Riots”, Stalinism in Barcelona and the systematic bombing of the city. Using first-hand witness accounts and rigorous documentation, the guide will take you to the sights that were directly involved in the conflict. You’ll discover places that survived intact despite being under threat of shootings, lootings and bombing raids. A fascinating route through history and the streets of Barcelona which has left us such unforgettable places as the Plaça de San Felip Neri, a beautiful spot that reminds us of the harshness of the conflict where you can still see the scars of a bombing raid that took place during the Civil War. It also looks at the hopes of the libertarian revolution and the most moving accounts such as George Orwell’s brilliant Homage to Catalonia.”


To Book a tour Email

Lots of great film on you tube here is one about Irish Volunteers



Brigadista – Irish Brigade in the Spanish Civil War

No Pasaran!

Work Capability Assessments not ‘fit for purpose’ as more than 4,000 die after being found ‘fit for work’

The DWP put out a deliberately confusing report today into deaths for people losing their WCA.
Here is Unite’s press release: Please share
Rollin, Joe – Outlook Web App

Unite Press Release
For immediate use: Thursday 27 August 2015
Work Capability Assessments not ‘fit for purpose’ as more than 4,000 die after being found ‘fit for work’
The Department for Work Pensions’ (DWP) Work Capability Assessments aren’t fit for purpose and should be scrapped in their current form urged Britain’s largest union, Unite, as shock figures revealed more than 4,000 people died within six weeks of being found ‘fit for work’.
The figures released by Iain Duncan Smith’s department, after a freedom of information request, show that between December 2011 and February 2014 4,010 people died after being told they should find work following a Work Capability Assessment. Of that figure, 1,360 died after appealing against a ‘fit for work’ decision.
Of the 4,010 who died after being told they were ‘fit for work’, 3,720 were in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, while 290 where on either Incapacity Benefit or its replacement, Severe Disablement Allowance.
The union accused the government of going to enormous lengths and wasting tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in legal fees to keep the figures hidden.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary, Steve Turner said: “These disturbing figures show that there is something deeply wrong with Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Capability Assessments.
“It is clear that the system isn’t fit for purpose and in some instances is finding people ‘fit for work’ as they enter the final months of their lives. In its current form it is nothing more than an impersonal tick box exercise that takes no account of people’s complex medical conditions and only causes worry and distress.
“Iain Duncan Smith’s attempts to bury bad news are shameful. He needs to show some humility by scrapping the current Work Capability Assessments and ordering a review into the system’s cruel failings.
“Whether or not someone is fit for work should not be determined by private sector companies driven by profit or targets imposed by Ministers fixated on cutting the benefit bill. It should be trained NHS medical staff carrying out work capability assessments in a revised system with the need for on-going support and assistance at its core.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web:
Notes to editors
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.