Four new exhibitions open at Unity+Works

Four new exhibitions open at Unity+Works, Wakefield,
Friday 19 February 11.00am

2016 WBHH A4 poster_Page_1
Unity+Works Wakefield will host four new exhibitions from Friday 18 February to Saturday 5 March, as part of the With Banners Held High event taking place on Saturday 5 March:

Twenty six panels created by the TUC Resources Library.



An exhibition created by Pierre Bouquet and previously shown at Rock‘n’Coal, an event held in Oignies, at the heart of the former French mining area, in March 2015.

Photos by PETE DUNWELL of musicians including Billy Bragg who link their music with politics and protest.

These exhibitions highlight key themes of the With Banners Held High event. One is the inspiring but largely unknown story of the scale and scope of international solidarity and support for the miners in the form of food, money, toiletries, toys and holidays abroad for the children of striking miners. The other is the way musicians supported the miners’ strike. The exhibitions will be complemented on 5 March by workshops and speakers from Europe who were active in this solidarity action.

Granville Williams, who has organised the exhibitions, said, ‘These exhibitions provide new perspectives and insights into the miners’ strike. Some of the photographs will be totally new to people because they were not published at the time of the strike. I came across many of them during my research for the book PIT PROPS. The exhibitions are profoundly moving, giving us real insights into how people from literally around the world responded to the hardships the miners, their families and communities endured during the year-long strike.’

The exhibitions are free and available to view during Unity+Works opening hours.

Tickets for the With Banners Held High daytime event at:

And for the evening fund-raising event:

Download the posters here:
2016 WBHH A4 poster
2016 WBHH poster


Newcastle United fans unfurl protest banner aimed at Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct


Fans at Manchester United match unveil banner reading #SportsDirectShame in protest over working conditions and pay at retail chain

#SportsDirectShame: Newcastle United fans unfurl banner protesting against club owner Mike Ashley’s sportswear empire after controversy over working conditions

Barnsley Green Party: Supporting Junior Doctors

Barnsley Green Party member Dominic Wood, on support for today’s Junior Doctor’s strike.

Caroline Natalie

It was a clear, bright sky that smiled over our Junior Doctor friends at Barnsley District & General Hospital this morning…

Safety is their paramount concern. The dispute is about contracts. BMA (British Medical Association) IRA representative Maria Butterfield was quoted as saying, “We have been asked not to bring banners. This is about the doctors and there message, which is clear and simple.”

Under the new contracts being offered, Student Doctors would have the EU legislative legal protection removed that currently prohibits the working of more than 48 hours a week. The reason for this legal prohibition is the well known and documented fact that tired doctors can kill patients. Unwittingly. Accidentally. Through being pushed to work longer hours than their mental and physical capacities can sustain.

That is why, said a Junior Doctor training in anaesthetics, we are striking in Barnsley today and on the 26th. We care about patients. We came into this profession because we want to help people and patient safety is paramount. Tired doctors can’t work to the best of their ability, much as they would like to do so.

Think about Patient Safety please, Mr. Cameron!

TUC Week of Action v anti-union Bill


Dear Colleagues,

As you probably know, week commencing 8 February 2016 sees the start of #heartunions week, a week of action which celebrates the great work done by union reps and members in our workplaces and in society. Please find further details by using this link

In Yorkshire and the Humber TUC area, we are hoping to organise the leafleting of bus/rail stations, and I am writing to ask if you will be able to be part of this campaign by arranging for people to leaflet in your locality some time during this week – preferable on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, if at all possible.

Further information, details of which will be sent out shortly:

  • Frances O’Grady will be holding a lunchtime meeting on 9 February, which will be available on line for meetings in workplaces,
  • Events are being co-ordinated in York and Sheffield.

Leaflets will be available from the Y&H TUC office from 25 January 2016, so if you wish to order them please let Chris Beastall know by return, along with the full postal address.

We hope that you will be able to be actively involved in this campaign, and look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Bill Adams
Regional Secretary
Yorkshire & the Humber TUC

A call from the BMA to all Unite Community activists – WE NEED YOU!

Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12th January. We are opposing this government’s attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession. It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution.

You may be aware that the BMA had initially suspended its planned industrial action at the start of December and returned to talks with the Department of Health. That decision was made in good faith. However, over the last few weeks, in the course of negotiations with Government we have encountered only intransigence. It is clear that the government perceives our contract issue as pivotal for its attempt to “reform” the NHS towards a neoliberal, commercialised system.

It is therefore evident to us that we have no choice but to transform our 98% ballot mandate into action.

The developments of the next few months will have consequences stretching far into the future. This government is wilfully putting at risk our patients’ safety, the tolerability of our working lives as NHS workers and the very viability of the NHS as a publicly-funded, publicly-provided service.

Why we need YOU

The coming period will be the ultimate test of the BMA’s resolve as a Union. However, we remain mindful of the fact that the BMA is not an abstract entity operating in isolation from wider political developments. There is no way that we can win this on our own. We need all concerned citizens, activists and trade unionists to stand alongside us in this fight.

Over the last few months we have been in dialogue with many trade unionists throughout the country and we have been enormously grateful for their support both at a local and national level. The public messages of support from our allied health worker colleagues, the firefighters, the teaching unions and the TUC and TUCG unions have galvanised junior doctors.

We are therefore well aware that all eyes are upon us and that the institutions which represent the wider working class stand with us in solidarity.

We are in no doubt that Osborne, Cameron and Hunt will use the proposed doctor’s contract as a tool for achieving the destruction of safe terms and conditions throughout the NHS and throughout the public sector. The Conservative Party is attempting to stretch the NHS into an ostensibly 7-day elective service whilst simultaneously launching the biggest assault on NHS resources in its history. The politics of austerity represents a clear and present danger to the nation’s health.

A victory for the Junior Doctors would signify the first real crack in the entire edifice of austerity in the UK.

Please stand with us. And when you need us, ask us. We will stand by you.

Invitation to attend our pickets

On behalf of the entire BMA we thank you all for your incredible support so far. Many of you will have seen the details with regards to the planned action and I will reiterate them below. We invite you to come out and display your visible support for us on the days of action.

•The action will begin with an emergency care-only model, which would see junior doctors provide the same level of service that happens in their given specialty, hospital or GP practice on Christmas Day. It will then escalate to full walk-outs. The action as proposed is:

Emergency care only — 24 hrs from 8am Tuesday 12 January to 8am Wednesday 13 January

Emergency care only — 48 hrs from 8am Tuesday 26th January to 8am Thursday 28 January

Full withdrawal of labour — from 8am to 5pm Wednesday 10th February

•The aim is to picket all major hospitals in England on all three days of proposed action. Pickets will be in the vicinity of the main entrances and will start at 8am, continuing until at least 12.30pm. However, many picket sites will continue into the evening, especially at the larger hospitals.

•Along with the pickets there will be parallel “Meet the Doctors” events at nearby transport stops or public spaces. We will direct you to these events from the picket.

•Please turn up on the days of action, and give us your support. We will then inform you if other local events are planned on the day. If you are an allied health worker, trade unionist or campaigner please do consider bringing along the banner representing your organisation, your working uniform or similar. We would appreciate it however if banners in explicit endorsement of specific political parties are not displayed and that any selling of campaign literature such as newspapers is relatively discreet.

•On the days of action, please do debate us, educate us and invite us to address your colleagues in your workplace or trade union branch.

Just as the social democratic consensus in this country began with the inception of the NHS in 1948 so too will the NHS be the site of Britain’s last stand against the all-consuming forces of austerity.

Solidarity is the antidote to the cynicism of those in power. Now is the time to stand together in a common defence of the NHS. If not now, when?

Kind regards

Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, Member of BMA Junior Doctors Committee National Executive.

Please share these memes on social media to show your support.

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Tony Garnett is Keynote Speaker at With Banners Held High

Tony Garnett, producer of Cathy Come Home, is a keynote speaker at With Banners Held High, Unity+Works, Wakefield, on Saturday 5 March.

It is fifty years since the play was broadcast on the BBC. It was watched by 12 million people – a quarter of the British population at the time. Its hard-hitting subject matter and highly realistic documentary style, new to British television, created a huge impact.

Tony Garnett is also well known for his mining films – Kes, and the two-part Play for Today, The Price of Coal. His memoir is coming out in June and it has the inside story of all the mining films he worked on plus an account of the BBC’s claim for ‘balance’ and his fight against their attempts to block the political plays like the four-part Days of Hope, which he worked on with playwright Jim Allen and director Ken Loach.

‘Seeing Red,’ a British Film Institute retrospective in 2013, celebrated the work of the veteran film and television producer. The BFI described Garnett as one of television’s ‘most influential figures,’ who ‘produced and fostered a succession of provocative, radical and sometimes incendiary dramas.’

He is an ideal speaker for With Banners Held High, a day-long event remembering the end of the coal mining industry with the closure of Kellingley Colliery in December 2015. There is a packed programme of exhibitions, music, film, poetry and debates, compered by writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton.

One focal point will be the inspiring but largely unknown story of the incredible international support for the 1984-85 miners’ strike, with speakers from France and Denmark. The other focus is on the support musicians gave to the strike, with an exhibition and debates.

A new book, Pit Props: Music, International Solidarity and the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike, edited by Granville Williams, will be launched on the day. Contributors include former BBC Labour Correspondent, Nick Jones, Paul Routledge and Ian Clayton.

The finale to the day event will be the stunning Test Department film, DS30, which features the South Wales Striking Miners’ Choir.

The evening fundraising event, compered by Attila the Stockbroker, has the Liverpool band, The Farm, best known for their hit All Together Now, with support from The Hurriers and Joe Solo.

Tickets for the day and evening events available from:


Barnsley Picket – 12 January

Barnsley Trades Council is calling for a solidarity with the Junior Doctor’s picket, starting at 8am on Tues Jan 12th, to join their first strike picket-line at the Gawber Road entrance of Barnsley Hospital. Please spread the word and bring banners, flags and placards. UNITY IS STRENGTH

Junior Doctors’ Strike

As you no doubt know, the Junior Doctors are due to come out on strike on

12 January 2016

Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday, 12 January and 8am on Wednesday, 13 January (24 hours)

26 January 2016 – 28 January 2016

Emergency care only between 8am on Tuesday, 26 January and 8am on Thursday, 28 January (48 hours)

10 February 2016

Full withdrawal of labour between 8am and 5pm on Wednesday, 10 February.

You can find further information, including a picketing map, at

The BMA have informed us that most picket lines will be from 8.00am to 10.00 at local hospitals. In larger towns members are going into the town centre at 10.00 for a rally and then back to the hospital, but I’m afraid that I don’t have any more specific information at the moment, as this has been left for local representatives to organise.

No Fracking in Barnsley – Open Letter


Dear friends,

No Fracking in Barnsley is a new non-partisan campaign, established with the aim of bringing together concerned groups and individuals to oppose fracking in Barnsley. Working on the principle that together we are stronger, the campaign will raise the profile of local opposition.

Evidence is mounting that fracking is harmful to the people and communities that live with this industry. In light of the recent round of licences, which cover Barnsley and the surrounding areas, the government has declared that almost the whole of South Yorkshire is open to be fracked.

The time to act is now! We want to build a vibrant campaign to keep the frackers out of Barnsley, forming an anti-fracking network that shares news and resources, supports our campaigns and each other’s events.

We are appealing to groups from across the political spectrum, in the spirit of friendship and solidarity to join with us.

You can find our website and social media feeds here:




Please follow us and share our news and we will do the same for you. We have lots of plans for campaigning and events in the pipeline and would be delighted if you could join us.

Yours in solidarity,

No Fracking in Barnsley