Football Tournament

This should be the final Communication about the Football Tournament on 16th of January but please feel free to contact me any time for further clarification or information about the day you can get me on:

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Information about the Day itself

All the games will be played in doors on astro turf so please bring appropriate footwear, please bring along matching colour shirts for your team, we have spare shirts for the day if two teams clash supplied by Amnesty International. A map of how to get to the ground, start and finish times can be found here

Food will be provided free on the day, and no entry cost will be charged!

There is also free parking

Please bring as many substitutes, friends and supporters as you like we want the day to be as inclusive as possible mixed teams are also welcome. We also have a facebook page here

And the unite community Blog here:

Unite Community operate a zero tolerance attitude to any form of discrimination so please come with an inclusive attitude, we want people to enjoy the day make new friends and contacts and help create a more decent and fair society.

Please find below the final Grid with all the teams on and a running order for the day! Copy of Copy of football list JOE

I look forward to meeting you all, in Solidarity Joe Rollin Organiser Unite the Union.

The Last Shift

These are the lyrics to The Hurriers new song about the closure and destruction of our proud mining industry. This song will be played live at With Banners Held High 2016 for the first time.

Tickets available here:

Told through the eyes of one of the miners coming up on that last shift, it’s the story of the Kellingley closure, the death of our once proud mining industry and what that will mean to mining families and our communities.

The Last Shift

My precious son you followed me
How could I know how things would be
I said it’s hard but you’ll have a laugh
You’ll scrub your comrade’s dust stained back
The sun will sting when you come back up
You’ll soon hold dear your brothers love

Dad you worked there your Dad too
But now it’s gone the end it’s through
Workmates long gone RIP
At least our tears they’ll never see
They walked out proud with heads held high
We faced press from far and wide

Darling wife stood by me strong
Always proud of where we’re from
They did their best to kill us off
But this a battle, not our war lost
Now go buy those new white sheets
And we will walk a different street

And last my Grandson now what for you
That chance we had has gone it’s true
With empty shops and ghost towns there
You’ll leave this place for who knows where
Who can blame you nothing left
The soul torn out, left dead bereft

From a hard days graft for a fair days pay
To a brain dead role with a minimum wage
From a job for life to a zero hours
That sweet true life has all gone sour

Grandma, Mother, daughter, wife
A bitter end to a once proud life
Husband, Father, Grandad, son
It’s gone for good the last shift’s done

Attila the Stockbroker @ Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley

Attila the Stockbroker
Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley
Start: 10 Feb 2016 – 07:30 PM
Price: All tickets £10.00

Singer-songwriter and pioneer performance poet, Attila has fought injustice all his life, including benefit gigs during The Miners’ Strike and for ‘Rock Against Racism’. His work tackles serious issues but he’ll make you laugh when he delivers it!


“And then, one day, I got myself a stage name. A stage name that, on its own, got me fifty per cent of my earliest gigs outside Harlow, all my early media coverage and entries in ‘silly band name’ lists all over the world, alongside the likes of Death By Milkfloat and Half Man Half Biscuit.

To this day, it still raises a smile everywhere I go.  I can be quite clumsy: I bump into things easily. And in that job I didn’t give a shit. I can’t exactly remember how or where, but I knocked a cup of coffee over in the office one day and somebody said something like ‘You’ve got the manners of Attila the Hun!’ A light came on in my head.

Attila the Stockbroker. That’s what I’d call myself. The last bit of the jigsaw was complete.”

Launched into public consciousness by John Peel in the early 1980s, performance poet, musician, journalist and political activist Attila the Stockbroker has spent thirty five years touring the world. Having performed over three thousand gigs in twenty four countries, releasing forty records and seven books of poetry along the way, he pauses here to relate his life story, a tale of single-minded determination to earn his living, without compromise, doing what he loves in the context of the ever changing, increasingly corporate minded politics of the last five decades.

An autobiography like no other, ‘Arguments Yard’ bounces effortlessly from frontline tales of touring East Germany, the first ever punk performance in Stalinist Albania, being thrown out of one of his own gigs and the ongoing fight – often literally – with the fascist thugs who targeted him in the early 80s to more homely anecdotes: his coastal upbringing and love of his home in West Sussex, his passionate involvement in the battle to save his beloved Brighton and Hove Albion FC and his path from punk bass player into a career which has lasted decades longer than the ranting verse fad which spawned it.

Full of humour and intellect, and peppered with encounters with notable figures, ‘Arguments Yard’ demonstrates a depth rarely found in the everyday performer’s autobiography, and relates an important social history, being a left wing activist’s eyewitness journey through the great political battles and movements of recent times. Rock Against Racism, the Anti Nazi League, the miners’ strike, the Wapping dispute, Red Wedge, the Poll Tax and campaigns against two Gulf Wars are all analysed from a ringside perspective before the author packs his bags and takes us on another tour of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA or Europe. Attila once turned down an offer of shows in North Korea (only because he was already booked to tour Canada) has stood in for Donny Osmond at a gig, been supported by the Manic Street Preachers – and DJ legend Steve Lamacq was his roadie for a while.

Now a long established Glastonbury regular, a celebrated poet at his football club and the organiser of his own hugely popular beer and music festival, Glastonwick, Attila The Stockbroker remains as focussed and active as ever and continues to perform around a hundred gigs a year to diverse audiences across the world.

His message is a simple one: you don’t need to be ‘a celebrity’ to lead a life earning your living doing what you love to do. You just need a way with words, the self-confidence and organizational ability of Napoleon and skin thicker than the armour of a Chieftain tank.

‘Arguments Yard’ is the perfect antidote to the countless fake tan splattered and empty headed celebrity autobiographies that increasingly fill the nation’s bookshelves.

Local groups condemn new fracking licences

Frack Well

A day after MPs voted to allow fracking under national parks, new exploratory fracking licences have been released, including one which covers Barnsley.

93 licences to explore 159 blocks of land across the UK were granted on Thursday 17th December 2015. One of those blocks (SE30b) covers an area that includes Barnsley town centre, Cudworth, Barugh Green, Dodworth, Hood Green, Worsbrough, Birdwell, Ardsley and Elsecar.

Barnsley Green Party have condemned the newly released fracking licences. A spokesperson explained, “This is very bad news for Barnsley and the surrounding areas. Wherever fracking has been practised it has left behind a trail of environmental damage.

“When fracking moves into an area there may be a promise of quick benefits for local communities, but the reality is often that the few local jobs that are created dry up once the fracking is finished and communities are left to live with the consequences.

“Fracking will not even improve our energy security or bring down bills, as any gas produced will be sold on the open market and may not even be offered to British consumers.”

David Burley of Frack Free South Yorkshire joined the condemnation, commenting, “Only one week after signing the international agreement to curb climate change, our UK government seems hell-bent on doing the exact opposite, regardless of local wishes. Shale gas is yet another fossil fuel that scientists around the world say we should leave in the ground. This ‘dash for gas’ is bonkers.

“Fortunately, opposition continues to grow: South Yorkshire MPs Michael Dugher, Dan Jarvis, Ed Miliband and shadow front-bencher Louise Haigh have already called for a moratorium on fracking.

“Frack Free South Yorkshire will be actively supporting the ‘No Fracking in Barnsley’ campaign to give the people of Barnsley the facts about fracking.“

The independent campaign ‘No Fracking in Barnsley’ will hold a meeting on Tuesday 5th January 2016, from 6.30pm at Barnsley YMCA to discuss the threat of fracking in the area.

Orgreave: justice fight goes on

Back support events call

Mark Metcalf, Friday, December 18th, 2015 – UniteLive

Unite has backed the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) since its inception over three years ago. One of the campaign stalwarts is Unite industrial organiser Joe Rollin from Barnsley.

Joe is now urging “trade unionists to back the events we are planning, which are intended to demonstrate to the home secretary Theresa May that there is popular support for a public inquiry or Hillsborough-style independent panel into events at Orgreave in 1984. ”

On Tuesday (December 15) the OTJC treasurer Chris Peace and Mike McColgan presented its 86-page legal submission to Theresa May. She had indicated her willingness to consider an inquiry request following widespread media coverage in June of the OTJC’s condemnation of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) decision not to conduct a full investigation.

The IPCC had taken over two-and-a-half years to conduct an initial investigation only to conclude that it didn’t have the resources to conduct a full-scale investigation. The police watchdog indicated that it had been unable to get to the truth as it could not locate a series of important documents, including the police operational orders that were drawn up in advance of June 18, 1984.

At the Battle of Orgreave that day, 95 miners were arrested after thousands of police officers – many in riot gear, with others on horseback – brutally assaulted miners participating in a year-long strike aimed at defending jobs and mining communities.

When the cases came to court they were all abandoned after the evidence by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) was heavily discredited and later the force made out of court settlements to 39 miners. Yet no police officers were ever charged of any offence despite clear evidence of assault, perjury, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public offence.

According to former printworker Joe this has left, “a legacy of mistrust within mining communities of the police and it is one of reasons I joined the OTJC.”

The OTJC legal submission has been prepared voluntarily by four barristers, including Michael Mansfield QC and Gareth Pierce, both of whom represented miners at the original trial.

“We have worked closely with the legal team and I’m very proud of everyone involved. There is some quite sensitive material within our submission but in addition to written testimonies we have also included lots of photographs to back up each section,” says Joe.

The submission was presented after the OTJC met with May in July. Joe says the meeting was “very positive. Now I hope the home secretary will see how strong the case is for either a public inquiry or an independent panel similar to one that investigated the Hillsborough disaster.”

Joe and the campaign won’t though be sitting waiting for May to contact them. “Ever since SYP referred themselves in November 2012 to the IPCC over Orgreave we have constantly sought to show that there is popular support for our cause.

“By adopting a very professional attitude we have won over many sections of the press, even those who aren’t on our side have adopted a position of respect, and the events we’ve organised have been well backed.

“Unite has supported the campaign and many Unite members have attended previous events. In the New Year we are planning some very imaginative events and we want them involved again. So watch this space because this important struggle continues.”

Get involved with the Orgreave justice campaign here

Mike Ashley’s review into Sports Direct employment practices risks being a PR stunt, warns Unite

A review by Mike Ashley into the use agency workers at Sports Direct will be nothing more than a public relations stunt if it fails to end ‘Victorian’ work practices at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse, Britain’s largest union Unite warned today (Friday 18 December).

The review announced by the Sports Direct board today, follows a Guardian investigation which found that extra, unpaid time taken for “rigorous” compulsory searches meant workers were paid less than the minimum wage.

Likening working conditions in the warehouse to a ‘gulag’, the investigation also found that workers were being ‘docked’ wages for arriving as little as a minute late to work.

Unite regional officer Luke Primarolo said: “Shameful ‘Victorian’ work practices have no place in modern Britain and this review should not deter HMRC from investigating the non-payment of the minimum wage to agency workers at Sports Direct.

“Unite has repeatedly raised concerns with the board and Mike Ashley directly about the use of ‘Victorian’ work practices. We look forward to participating fully with Mike Ashley’s review and to working with Sports Direct to eradicate the mistreatment of workers at its Shirebrook warehouse.

“If his review is to be taken seriously then it has to have concrete outcomes, such as restoring dignity at work by moving agency staff at Best Connection and Transline workers onto permanent contracts.

“A failure to do so will do nothing to restore investor and customer confidence and leave the board open to accusations of doing nothing more than engaging in a public relations stunt.”


Sports Direct: Mike Ashley to oversee review of agency staff’s conditions

This article by Julian Kollewe originally appeared in the Guardian.

Founder of sportswear chain will personally lead initiative after Guardian investigation revealed some staff are effectively paid less than minimum wage

Sports Direct is to launch a review of all agency staff terms and conditions, which it said would be overseen personally by its founder Mike Ashley.

The move follows a Guardian investigation, which revealed how temporary warehouse workers at Britain’s biggest sportswear chain are subjected to an extraordinary regime of searches and surveillance. Undercover reporters also came up with evidence that thousands of workers were receiving effective hourly rates of pay below the minimum wage.

The company said on Friday: “Sports Direct always seeks to improve and do things better, listens to criticism and acts where appropriate. With that in mind, as noted above, the board has agreed that Mike Ashley shall personally oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions to ensure the company does not just meet its legal obligations, but also provides a good environment for the entire workforce. We expect him to start that work in the New Year.”

Labour’s former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said: “This Sports Direct review is overdue but has the whiff of a pupil marking its own homework. Sports Direct should get an independent third party to do their review into workers rights – the company has a lot to learn.”

At the same time, Sports Direct mounted a robust defence of its employment practices, issuing a long list of rebuttals.

It said the warehouse tannoy is not used to ‘harangue’ or ‘name and shame’ staff, but is used for logistical reasons, for example, to redeploy staff to other areas of the building.

It said it does not penalise staff for being ill. “Sanctions may be applied if workers fail to follow the company’s reasonable sickness absence notification procedures, which are in line with industry best practice. The company is not aware of any occasions on which sick children have not been able to be collected from school by their parents. Sports Direct allows staff time off to look after dependants in such circumstances.”

Local primary school headteachers had told the Guardian that workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire are sending their children to school while sick because they are too afraid to take time off work.

The company defended the security measures at its warehouse in Shirebrook in light of the risk of theft. Sports Direct said banning staff from wearing the brands stocked in the warehouse was “not an unusual practice,” adding: “There are of course numerous other brands that staff can easily wear.”

The Guardian revealed that staff are banned from wearing 802 clothing brands at work, and that they have to go through rigorous searches, and are not paid for their time while being searched.

The company said all employees, agency workers and visitors, including executive management and board members, are subject to “random searches”.

Sports Direct also defended its use of zero hour contracts for casual staff in its shops, saying it is not alone in using them. It added that a “significant number” of casual workers had moved from zero hour terms into permanent contracts “when the circumstances allow”. Many have developed successful careers within the company, including the chief executive, it said.

It also said that virtually all casual retail staff are eligible for bonus payments and that more than 80% achieved a performance-related bonus in November.

The retailer came under fire from MPs during an urgent parliamentary debate on Monday and a government minister, Nick Boles, said the company would face sanctions if it flouted wage laws. HM Revenue & Customs is facing increasing pressure to launch an inquiry into the sportswear retailer.

Please Support the March in Kellingley this Saturday – Britain’s last Deep Coal Mine


A march to mark the closure of Kellingley pit takes place on Saturday 19 December.

This will be an important event so if you can. please come and support it.

The march starts from Knottingley Town Hall at 12.30 and finishes at Kellingley Miners’ Welfare.

More info: