Barnsley Trades Council Trade Union a Bill Meeting

Barnsley Trades Council had a 50 strong public meeting last night with Ian Hodson of BFAWU and Liz Lawrence of UCU speaking. It was a good start to our campaign against the Tory attacks on unions.
We are obviously pushing for a big turnout on November 2nd and are starting building our second public meeting entitled “Defy the Tory anti-union Laws” with Steve Turner and Tosh McDonald speaking. It will be in the Yorkshire Miners Hall, Victoria Road at 7pm on Wed. Nov. 18th.Flyers should be available soon.

THIS SATURDAY! Sheff4Ten – Defend Our Unions

This Saturday 24th Oct – Public meeting
Novotel Sheffield, 1pm -2.30pm

Nick Rudikoff Senior Organiser with Service Employers Industry Union Talks about the great success of the American Union in the Fight for $15 and a union.

Ian Hodson National President of the Bakers Food Allied Workers Union Talks about the Fight for £10 an hour minimum wage and an end to zero hour contracts.

Louise Haigh MP  Labour MP Shadow Digital Minister and star of last week’s question time!

Fast Food worker to talk about conditions in the fast food industry.

Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green Party will join us via video message.

1pm Novotel

Oaks Disaster Fund Donation


We are proud to have received the above letter from Chris Skidmore of the NUM, for our donation to the Oaks Colliery 150th Anniversary Disaster Memorial.

Dear Joe,

Many thanks for the wonderful donation that you and your colleagues have contributed to the above fund. It is a marvellous gesture of solidarity and confirms that Trade Unionism is alive and well in this Century and firmly illustrates that the Trade Unionists of the past who made the ultimate sacrifice at work are not forgotten by the “foot soldiers of today”. The “People & Mining” Group who are “fronting” the Appeal for the Memorial Fund will place their appreciation on record at the next Steering Committee Meeting later this month.

Your sincerely,

Chris Skidmore (Yorkshire Area NUM Chairman)

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

Call for ‘£10 an hour living wage’, as savage tax credit axe looms

The axe to working tax credits will inflict further financial hardship to those working in the six million jobs in the UK paying less than the ‘living wage’, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Monday 12 October).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the proportion of jobs paying less than the ‘living wage’ outside London rose from 21 per cent to 23 per cent between April 2012 and April 2014. The figure for the capital rose by six per cent to 19 per cent – well below the rest of the UK.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “This is a double whammy, not only are bosses failing to pay the ‘living wage’, but these workers are the very people who will be hit by the savage cuts to the working tax credits.

“Three million low-waged families could lose £1,000-a-year or, in some cases, up to £1,700 when the cuts to the tax credits come into force next April.

“The dismal failure of employers to pay the ‘living wage’ disproportionately hits those in low-paid, insecure work and also women.

“Ministers are allowing the drawbridge to be drawn up against the low-paid getting a proper wage and condemning millions to a life of grinding poverty, where putting food on the table is a daily struggle.

“The current rate for the ‘living wage’ is £7.85 an hour outside London and £9.15 in the capital, so you can see the phoney national living wage of £7.20, coming into force for the over 25-year-olds next April, is already inadequate in providing a decent income.

“The ‘living wage’, which is voluntary, needs to be made compulsory and should be £10 an hour – and Britain’s companies, with strong cash reserves, can well afford to pay it.”

New rates will be announced on 2 November at the start of ‘living wage’ week, and could see the UK rate edge towards £8 an hour.


Fighting the anti-union laws

We’ve had a very positive response to the proposal for a protest/rally against the anti-union laws on Tues. 13th October at 5pm on the Town Hall steps below the fountains. It is timed to coincide with the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group protest and rally in London. We will issue a press release on that basis.

Barnsley College UCU have agreed to ‘chair’ the protest/rally and I urge all unions to bring union flags/banners and placards opposing the anti-union laws. I hope union representatives or individuals will speak too.

Please encourage the maximum number of your members/friends to come. A lively very visual protest  will build on the fantastic turnout in Manchester on Sunday and kickstart a co-ordinated campaign of opposition to the Tories’ Bill in Barnsley.

In solidarity,

Dave Gibson

Public Campaign Against Privatisation and Cutting of Barnsley Children’s Health Services

As you know, Barnsley Central 38 Degrees is trying to develop a public campaign against the privatisation and cutting of children’s health services.

We have started a petition, written to all Barnsley Councillors and MPs, sent out a press release and will have a leaflet out in the next few days. The petition has nearly 100 signatures on-line and we collected about 300 on paper last weekend at a stall in Barnsley and on the coaches to the demo against the Tories in Manchester. You can view the petition on-line at

Copies of the email we sent to Councillors and MPs and the leaflet we will be bringing out next week are attached.

We would like to ask the unions to do whatever they can to make the campaign as big as possible. Could you circulate the link for the on-line petition to all your members and encourage them to sign and get others to sign? It would be great also if you could publicise the stall that we will be having in Barnsley this Saturday,10th October. We will be on May Day Green petitioning from 10.30 to about 1pm. All are welcome to attend and join in. We will bring a megaphone.

Beyond that, we are open to suggestions. Possible ideas are a public meeting, a march around Barnsley and a lobby of the Council. We are open to suggestions, but definitely want to take things forward on a joint basis with the unions and the staff. We think the recent experience with the children’s centres shows that we will not get Barnsley Council to think again unless we mount a really bid, determined campaign.