Attila the Stockbroker at Old No7 in Barnsley

Attila the Stockbroker has been a great friend of the left for well over 30 years and it would be great if we could get a sell out crowd when he comes to play at No7 in a few weeks.

Power of Song Promotions are proud to present…….

Attila the Stockbroker (John Baine)
With support from the excellent Joe Solo
7.30pm Saturday 17th October 2015
Poems and songs interspersed with excerpts from his new autobiography “Arguments Yard”
Autographed copies will be on sale at the gig.
Tickets £5 – available from the Old No7, Market Hill, Barnsley. (£6 on the door if it doesn’t sell out but it will!)

Attila wanted the gig to be a cosy, personal sit down affair so we’re only making 50 tickets available – get in there quick!

Tickets are available from Old No7 or by contacting Tony Wright and pay via PayPal.

Go to event page on Facebook.

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 :

Sports Direct National Day of Action


Yesterday’s Sports Direct national day of action saw community action, shareholder action and social media combine to highlight ‘Victorian’ work practices at Sports Direct and spark a significant shareholder revolt at the company’s AGM.

With protests from Truro to Newcastle and a demo outside the AGM at Sports Direct HQ, the day received wide spread coverage in national and regional media.

The campaign continues … But in the meantime here’s a small selection of some of the media coverage.

The Guardian – Sports Direct denies ‘Dickensian practices’ in face of investor revolt

The Guardian – Editorial on Sports Direct: Big British capitalism at its grubbiest

BBC News – ‘Dickensian’ protest against zero-hour contracts at Sports Direct

ITV News – Victorian themed protest at Sports Direct over zero-hour contracts

The Independent – Sports Direct shareholders revolt over poor governance

The Mirror – Protesters use giant rat to shame Sports Direct ‘Victorian’ era work practices

Daily Record – Firm owned by Rangers investor targeted by protesters over zero-hours contracts

City AM – Watch out Mike Ashley

P.S. if you haven’t signed the petition click here now

Alex Flynn
Head of media and campaigns
Unite the Union

National Day of Action against Sport Direct’s Shameful Work Practices

image2BTomorrow Unite members will be protesting outside Sports Direct Annual General Meeting demanding an end to ‘Victorian’ work practices at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse and pays a real living wage.

The protest is part of a national day of action outside over 25 Sports Direct stores across the UK. It comes amid a shareholder revolt over the company’s governance and employment practices resulting in calls for the Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell to stand down at tomorrow’s AGM.Unite has launched an online petition calling for an end to ‘Draconian’ working practices and an end to Sports Direct’s reliance on zero hours contracts.

Please help us put pressure on Sports Direct – sign the petition here, share it with friends and family on your Facebook or if you Tweet, retweet.

The hash tag is #SportsDirectShame – here is the link to the petition.
List of actions here.
Report here.
More here.

A threat to all of our rights at work

Trade Union Bil

What the Conservatives are calling the ‘Trade Union Bill’ is in reality a threat to all of our rights at work. What it contains, and other proposals, will enshrine in law a series of wide-ranging measures that will significantly constrain trade unions and working people in organising collectively.

It places extreme and severe restrictions on the ‘right to strike’, by attacking trade unions in this way it will strangle peoples’ most powerful way of protecting their rights at work. The impact of these measures will be to make it much harder for working people to achieve better pay and working conditions. And we can’t ignore those measures in the Bill and others that are about rigging the rules of government in their favour, silencing voices and stifling peaceful protest – undermining basic freedoms with measures that are undemocratic and authoritarian.

Here are some useful documents outlining the dangers for this legislation:
Trade Union Bill Briefing_7118_BriefingA_A4_4 Political Report
Trade Union Bill Summary (4) – Political Report

The Welfare Charter

The Welfare Charter will be formally launched at the TUC congress next Monday.

We should have…

1. A political commitment to full employment achieved with decent jobs
People are entitled to decent, stable and secure jobs that provide regular, guaranteed hours that allows them to also meet any caring responsibilities; not zero hours contracts in precarious jobs.

2. A wage you can live on for all and a social security system that works to end poverty
We need a National Living Wage that people can live on, not just survive on, that applies to all.

3. No work conscription – keep volunteering voluntary
Forcing people to work for free on pain of losing benefits is simply providing free labour to organisations that should be paying workers proper wages.

4. Representation for unemployed workers
Everyone should have access to an advocate to help them navigate the social security system and appeal adverse decisions.

5. Appoint an Ombudsman for claimants
A Claimants Ombudsman should be appointed to arbitrate on unresolved complaints, to ensure claimants are treated with respect and dignity.

6. Equality in the labour market and workplace; equality in access to benefits.
We need a labour market where structural inequalities are overturned and a benefit system that is accessible to people.

7. An end to the sanctions regime and current Work Capability Assessment – full maintenance for the unemployed and underemployed.
We need a non-means tested, non-discriminatory benefit payable to all, with housing costs met. This must be allied with the wide provision of low cost housing.

8. State provision of high quality information, advice and guidance on employment, training and careers
There must be a supportive and independent careers and job-broking service, not linked to conditionality or benefits, offering face to face advice.

Download here: 710X_WelfareCharter_A5_3

Refugees Welcome Here

Saturday 12 September
Barnsley Demonstration and Rally, May Day Green, 1.00pm.

This day of action has been called in response to the unfolding human tragedy across Europe as thousands of refugees flee war, persecution, torture and poverty. Thousands have lost their lives in the process or are living in appalling conditions as they struggle to find a safe haven.

Over 2,400 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean already this year. The shocking picture of baby Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach epitomizes the appalling humanitarian tragedy taking place. But the response of David Cameron and the government to this has been disgraceful.

On Monday 14 September Home Secretary Theresa May will meet with EU leaders to discuss the refugee crisis. We must learn the lessons of history and call on the government to take a humanitarian and compassionate response to refugees, and to meet its share of the responsibility for providing protection.

Let’s send a strong message: We say refugees are welcome here.

Download the flyer: Refugees_welcome_here_NATIONAL_A5

Barnsley Save Our NHS Public Meeting

A number of us in Barnsley are trying to develop a Save Our NHS campaign here. A group of people has come together already and we plan to hold a Save Our NHS public meeting on Saturday 19th September, at 11am, in Barnsley Library.

The aims of the meeting are to make people aware of the threat of cuts and privatisation, to identify the immediate issues that we need to be campaigning on locally, and to get more people involved in the group.

We are very keen for the NHS trade unions to be involved. We would like to invite all Unite members to the meeting. Also, it would be great if someone from Unite working at Barnsley Hospital could speak briefly about how they see things (in a personal capacity if necessary).

There will be two other people speaking (both in a personal capacity) – Alison Brown of Sheffield Save Our NHS, who works for the ambulance service, and Andrew Bogg, who works in telehealth for SWYPFT.

The speakers will be followed by a discussion, where we hope that people will raise their concerns about the NHS.

Tony Nuttall

Download the flyer: Barnsley Save Our NHS Flyer

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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