8am Wed. Feb. 10th Barnsley Hospital

Barnsley Trades Council is calling on trade unions to send delegations to the Gawber Road entrance of Barnsley Hospital at 8amonwards on Wed. February 10th to show solidarity with the junior doctors’ strike and picket.

Bring your union banners and flags and make your own placards. Around 25 trade unionists joined the striking doctors last time – it would be great if we can make that number bigger.


Protest 12pm – 1pm Thursday Feb. 11th Town Hall Steps – (below the fountains).

Barnsley Trades Council has organised a protest against the Tories’ anti Trade Union Bill as part of a national TUC day of action. We are calling on unions to send delegations, bring banners and placards and come prepared to speak.

We have to defend our unions and defend our right to strike. That is why solidarity with the doctors is so important as well as defying the Tories’ anti trade union laws.

TUC week of action

From Sheffield Trades Council – Let’s make a big push here in Sheffield to raise our voices against the latest Tories attacks on trade unions. Please forward this to your contacts!



8‐14 Feb 2016 / The heartunions week of action celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. We’re proud of our unions and reject the government’s attempts to damage them with the trade union bill. 

8‐14 Feb 2016 / The heartunions week of action celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. We’re proud of our unions and reject the government’s attempts to damage them with the trade union bill. 8‐14 Feb 2016 / The heartunions week of action celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. We’re proud of our unions and reject the government’s attempts to damage them with the trade union bill.

Tuesday 9th February – Local Union Branch activity

The TUC and all affiliated unions are asking local union branches to do some activity with their members on this day. This can involve stewards leafleting their members, special branch meetings or sending a press release. It’s YOUR chance to speak out about the Tories’ plans to attack our right to strike, make unprecedented interference in our internal affairs and undermine union funding of the Labour Party – and tell your members about it!

Materials are available from your Union or from Regional TUC Office.

Frances O’Grady TUC General Secretary is broadcasting a live message to union branches at lunchtime 1230hrs on this day which you can tune into on the TUC website

Find out more on

 Thursday 11th February – Reaching out to the public in our communities

Sheffield Trade Union Council is organising two events – and asks all trade union branches, shop stewards and members and supporting organisations to join us!

Lunchtime Rally and Stalls outside City Hall,

Barkers Pool starting at 1230hrs


Steve Turner UNITE Assistant General Secretary

Jim Board UNISON Doncaster

Marion Lloyd PCS Sheffield and PCS Exec member

Martin Mayer Secretary Sheffield Trade Union Council

and others

Please also bring your own materials/table for a stall to advertise your union and its work

(please set up by 12 noon)


Evening “Defend Our Unions” Public Meeting

City Centre venue to be confirmed 7pm


Ian Hodson, President Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union

Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour MP

Bill Adams TUC Regional Secretary

and others

NO FRACKING WAY – South Yorkshire Day of Action

Fracking is a destructive, polluting, dangerous industry. It has caused real pain for communities in the USA and Australia and it is coming to Barnsley!

Exploratory fracking licences now cover most of the borough. Licences were granted in Dearne Valley last year and just before Christmas, a new round of licences extended coverage over Barnsley itself.

No Fracking in Barnsley will be taking part in the national programme of anti-fracking events, called by No Fracking Way. This is an unmissable opportunity for us to raise awareness locally and to make a noise about fracking at a national level.

No Fracking in Barnsley
Saturday 30th January 2016
May Day Green (Barnsley Town Centre) at 11.00am

We will be leafleting at May Day Green (near Thorntons) and collecting signatures for our petition to Barnsley Council, calling for the rejection of fracking in Barnsley.

Please come along and help us to spread the word to the people of Barnsley, even if you can only spare half an hour. Everybody’s help is valuable and with a good turn out, we can engage with as many people as possible.

Frack Free Dearne Valley
Saturday 30 January, 10am-12Noon
Wath-upon-Dearne (near the Market)

There are other events planned to take place across the region on the same day in Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham. Visit our event page on Facebook for more details as they are available, or our website.

Tweetathon: Sunday 31st January 2016

In support of other events happening around the country, we will be sharing their tweets from our account under the hashtag #NoFrackingWay. Please join us, share as many posts as you can and help us to get the argument against fracking trending nationally.

You can sign our petition here.

Please share this message with anyone who you think may be interested in helping.

Organising the unorganised.

My experience of organising fast food workers.
By BFAWU (Bakers union) organiser Gareth Lane.


For the last six month I’ve been working as a community Organiser for the BFAWU.

My job is to organise fast food workers, Bar workers, and Coffee shop workers into the union. This involves me identifying workplaces in Community’s located across the North of England.

I have made contact and spoken to hundreds of fast food workers in McDonalds, KFC, Costa, Starbucks, If it sells food on a major  high street, chances are I’ve been there.

One lesson I’ve learned that stands out above any of the many lessons I have learned in this time is, Fast food workers are hero’s

I’ve met the single mum juggling to find childcare, and hang onto  hours despite all the difficulties and hardships of running a family on her own. A Middle aged woman fitting in as many hours as possible whilst being a carer for her elderly parent.

The sole bread winner who holds down three jobs working 60 hours a week, The wide eyed youngster who’s first job it is, Who’s sure there’s a better life just waiting round the corner, to the university graduate who thought that working in fast food would see them through university but find themselves still there Five years after graduation.

Every fast food worker has a story, Every fast food worker is a Hero, Every Fast Food worker Gets up every day to work in a job that society undervalues, To be treated with less than dignity by their employer,

Fast food workers have taught me that working in fast food is a hard skillful job,

It’s a real skill to learn to  deal with bullying and aggressive bosses, who hold the power of deciding the weeks rota and what hours you work, The boss  can decide if you have the heating on that week or weather you get the kids the new shoes they need, All with the stroke of a pen.

McDonald’s with its zero hour contracts or  KFC with its four hour contracts will claim that workers enjoy the flexibility of zero hour contracts and can organise their work to fit into their life when in reality  the opposite is true, Life is impossible to organise on an ever changing pattern of hours,  The insecurity of the work keeps you a pay packet from poverty, and forces you to tow the Mcline.

Generally young workers are discriminated against because of age under 18s get paid less, under 21s get paid less and soon under the Tories new minimum wage under 25s will get paid less. All workers in this industry should be paid the same, regardless of age,  Food is not cheaper, There is no subsidy for rents if your under 25, there is no under 25s rate in Mothercare for cots and cradles so why should you be paid less.

The job itself is hard and dangerous next time you meet a fast food worker look at their arms and hands likelihood is they are covered in burns and bruises as a result of poorly maintained machinery, lack of health and safety and being forced to work to machine standard speed.

In a busy fast food workplace you hit the ground running its often a tense and pressured environment where every second counts as management attempts to squeeze as much work from you as possible in order to meet orders, workplaces are often understaffed meaning workers often forfeit break times in order to help struggling work mates,

Fast food workers as trade unionists,

The BFAWU is developing some incredible young trade unionists, young workers that understand the level of exploitation they are facing, Young workers that understand that by building a democratic union at the grass roots they can organise to bring real victories in their own workplaces and support others in their workplace,

Our model has been inspired by the fight for 15 in the USA. We are using tried and tested organising techniques from the campaign in the united states and the tradition of the Bakers Union

In this sense we build up our activist base by picking off small victories and building confidence amongst members and supporters, Whilst at the same time offering hope in the possibilities of a wage that’s life changing and deserved.

Our aim is to end inequality to raise wages and improve the conditions of those who work in this industry.

The BFAWU Says £10 an hour now.

Join us in the fight for dignity in work.

Watch the video ‘Demo at McDonalds’ here

For more information follow us on facebook


Gareth Lane
BFAWU Fast food
Northern England

ESOL Donation


During the run up to Christmas, Barnsley Trades Union Council launched an appeal to assist asylum seekers and refugees in the town.

On Saturday at the end of an Anti-racist 5 a side Football tournament held at the Barnsley Football Club Dave Gibson, on behalf of the BTUC presented a cheque to the value of £300 (part of the total appeal) to Richard Vivian and Brian Clarke, 2 of the volunteers at the Unite Community Support Centre, based at the NUM Headquarters on Huddersfield Road.

Barnsley Anti-Racism Football Tournament

This story by Nick Stevens originally appeared on Hope Not Hate.

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

It’s fair to say that we at HOPE not hate have written extensively over the years about the relationship between organised football violence and the growth and movements of the far-right scene in the UK. That being the case, it is always a delight when we can write about the opposite: a positive story about the impact of ‘the beautiful game’, and its role in bringing people together.

And so was the case in Barnsley on Saturday 16th January, as 16 teams from across Yorkshire, and even as far afield as London and Leicester, came together for a 5-a-side ‘Anti-Racism Tournament’ organised by Unite the Union, with backing from Show Racism The Red Card and Barnsley FC Community Support Trust.

HOPE not hate was delighted to be invited to the fantastic, diverse, event in a freezing sports hall next to Barnsley football ground in the middle of the South Yorkshire town. The ground itself is situated in a residential area, and walking around, one really gets the sense of the unifying properties of the world’s most popular sport, as the game becomes a catalyst for a community to come together.

As teams such as ‘Yorkshire St Pauli’, ‘Barnsley ESOL’ and ‘Manchester Refugee Support’ clashed in their various groups, the viewing gallery and seating area was packed with people determined to stand in solidarity with those that some see fit to demonise and scapegoat.

Being as they were only 5 minutes long, and with 3 matches being played at once, the games themselves were played at a whirlwind pace, with some fantastic individual and team skill on show. Whilst we got a stitch just watching, the boundless levels of energy from all involved needs to be commended, as does the organisation of the day itself, which was superb. Also, a big thank you to the caterers who put on a great spread to keep the teams full of vitality.

In the end, Manchester Refugee Support emerged victorious, so congratulations to them!

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey


Unite football tournament plays a blinder!

Last Saturday 16th January, a very unique event took place at Barnsley Football Club.

Photos by Brian Clarke and Ian Parker.

The event was a 5 a side football tournament, not just any 5 a side tournament, this event was unique because it was organised by two passionate football fans, Linda Hughes (Unite Union Learning Organiser) and Joe Rollin (Unite Industrial Organising Officer) as an anti-racist event and to show support for refugees and asylum seekers.

The idea was developed when Linda and Joe became aware that a group of asylum seekers/refugees in Barnsley were spending their time playing football in Locke Park Barnsley. It was decided to organise using the title of “Celebrating diversity through learning” and supported by Barnsley FC Community Trust, Learn with Unite, Achievement through sport, Professional Footballers Association, Union Learning Fund, Show Racism the Red Card and Barnsley Trades Union Council.

Following negotiations with Barnsley Football Club the tournament was held in the Training Academy and 16 teams were invited to take place. The teams, 4 from Barnsley, 1 from Doncaster, 2 from Leeds, 1 from Leicester, 2 from Manchester, 1 from London, 2 from Middlesbrough, 1 from Pudsey and 2 from Sheffield. Getting all the fixtures worked out was quite a task but the organisers did it and made a good job of it.

We will not mention all the teams but the team from where the idea came from was Barnsley ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) an all women team a Dads & Lads team and a music group turned out a team.

The day went very well with very few hitches, 3 pitches were used simultaneously it was great to see such activity with so many Nationalities taking part, all watched and cheered on by a good audience of very enthusiastic supporters.

At half time Kenny Barron Unite the Union’s Head of Lifelong Learning presented ESOL certificates and medals to the Barnsley ESOL Team and a free buffet was provided by the Professional Footballers Association which was a bit like the proverbial bun fight, but much appreciated.

After all the matches had been played, the team coming out on top were Manchester Refugee Support, showing some excellent football skills, worthy winners. The trophy was presented by Dave Gibson on behalf of Barnsley Trades Union Council who provided trophies and medals.

All in all a very enjoyable day and thanks should be given to Barnsley Football Club, Unite the Union, Professional Footballers Association not forgetting Linda and Joe. The Barnsley team asked if it was going to be a regular event!! Perhaps it may develop into an Annual event, who knows?