Tag: Leeds


9:30am until 12:30pm

Come and join us at the Unite Regional Political Forum on Saturday 28th November. This promises to be a lively meeting and our Speakers will include:

Karen Reay, Unite Regional Secretary
Richard Burgon MP
Rachel Maskell MP
Steve Turner, Unite Assistant General Secretary
Dick Banks, Unite Convenor at Leeds City Council and Unite Regional Committee Chair

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of our speakers.

As numbers for this event are limited, please contact Caroline Hopwood at Caroline.Hopwood@unitetheunion.org or by telephone on 0113 322 3385 to reserve your place.

Reports from the day of action against Benefit Sanctions – Thursday 19 March 2015

On Thursday 19 March demonstrations took place across the region against Benefit Sanctions. Below are photos and reports from a number of the demos.

Photos from Barnsley, Hartlepool, Stockton and Leeds.

Media story in Teeside Gazette Live.


Good demo in Barnsley. Almost 40 marched round town to Job Centre. 16 Freedom Riders came and joined in demonstration saying that they were opposed to cuts this Tory government is making against pensioners, unemployed and trade unionists.Lively rally outside job centre where a claimant who had been sanctioned came forward and described his experience and received applause for his courage in speaking out.

(Report by George Arthur)


Video from Halifax.


About 40 people attended a protest rally against benefit sanctions in the town centre today. It was organised by the local Unite/Community Branch,  which is for people who are unemployed in the community.

Our protest was one of 77 actions taking place throughout the country as part of a National Day of Action Against Benefit Sanctions organised by Unite /Community.

There were a range of speakers who all emphasised the punitive and arbritary nature of the sanctions against claimants that can result in them being without their benefits for anything from 4 weeks to 3 years.

The speakers also stressed the need to keep up the campaign against benefit sanctions and all the other government attacks on welfare.

Speakers included, Nick Ruff, Chair of Kirklees Unison, Jane East, prospective parliamentary candidate for Labour for the Colne Valley, Mike Forster, prospective parliamentary candidate for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) for the Huddersfield constituency.

Speakers who are unemployed described their personal experiences.

Karl Dallas, a member of Unite/Community, played his guitar and everyone joined in an anti-sanctions song that he had written especially for the occasion. Robin Bowles, on his accordian, added an uplifting feel to the whole event.

The rally was chaired by, June Jones, Chair of the Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield Branch of Unite/Community.

The next Unite/Community Branch meeting is on Tuesday 7 April at the Brian Jackson Centre from 11am to 1pm.

(Report by June Jones)

Unite Community Regional Day


Thursday November 13 2014

What an amazing day!! It was well organised, informative, fun and inspirational!

Unite Community is 3 years old. There were 480 members in this region (Yorkshire, Humberside and North East) last September, now there are 1000! No other union is organising people who are out of work. There are now 5 branches in this region, with South Yorkshire the biggest and 2 other branches are on the way.

This was a day for 3/4 activists from each branch in the region. Other members came from Newcastle, Durham,  Barnsley, Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Grimsby Teesside and Newcastle. It was inspiring to hear what the campaigns were achieving with the support of Unite Community.

Unite Community is helping release an absolute powerhouse of energy. It is involving people of all ages, abilities and experience. Campaigns include support for the Freedom Riders which has grown into a national campaign; Justice for Orgreave; the Bedroom Tax, opposing benefit sanctions, boycotting workfare, demonstrating against ATOS, campaigns against the closure of children’s centres and campaigns around student fees.

Branches have petitioned, held public meetings, rallies, demonstrations and supported picket lines. Two branches have had joint meetings with PCS members to encourage union staff to refuse to carry out unfair and cruel sanctions.

Some branches have established food banks and clothing banks – with a laundry in one branch area, washing and ironing the clothes for free. This has been very helpful for people attending job interviews.

There are courses for public speaking, learning computing skills, welfare benefits training; banner-making – whatever the need to take a community forward – it can be done with Unite Community support.

It was agreed that we needed to be clear about our aims which are to raise political awareness and give a voice to people who are not working, helping people shape and build strong working class communities.

Many of our campaigns will be about resisting austerity cuts to jobs and services and challenging racism.  It was felt important that we link up with industrial unions and with other community organisations who are working with the unemployed and that we send delegates to trade councils.

Legal help and advice is available to members from the experienced trade union law firm, Thompson’s solicitors. Services include personal injury and accident compensation, criminal law, clinical negligence, free legal advice, pensions and conveyancing.

See photos from the day in the gallery below.

Y&H Regional TUC Black Workers’ Forum

Venue: PCS, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY.

Come and join us for two days of activity celebrating the heroes and reflecting and discussing the horrors (injustices) within Black History and what we can do to change things.

Wednesday 12th November 5.30 PM – 8.00 PM
HEROES: Showing Nelson Mandela Film: The Long Walk to Freedom
Come and watch the film about one of the biggest heroes in our lifetime and find out more about heroes past and present. (Bring friends/family and we’ll bring the popcorn).

Friday 14th November 5.30 PM – 7.30 PM
HORRORS: Death in Custody – when will it end?
From David Oluwale, Christopher Alder and beyond, come and listen to speakers including Janet Alder (Christopher Alder’s sister) discussing the shocking facts and the continued fight for justice. Refreshments will be included.

For further details contact the Forum Convenor, Joe Grant.

Download the flyer: TUC BLACK WORKERS FORUM FLYER BHM 2014 v3 (1)

Join us at Summat New

summat new
Join us for the launch of Leeds for Change! Unite Community is getting involved with Summat New, and we’d love you to join us. We will be running a session on linking Community Activism with Industrial Struggles at 3pm and also we will be running a stall all day.

Saturday 8th November, 9am – 10pm

Leeds University Union

Get connected, share skills and join in action for change, with a day of guest speaker panels, workshops hosted by groups from Leeds and further afield, films, art, singing and lots in between for all ages! The full programme is now available, so check it out!

Guest speaker panels will feature:

Paul Mason – Channel 4 Economics Editor, prolific author and digital media guru

Pragna Patel – Founder of Southall Black Sisters, activist and listed in the Guardian’s 100 Top Women

Clara Osagiede – RMT representative, powerful living wage campaigner for London Underground cleaners

Eleanor Lisney & Armineh Soorenian – Sisters of Frida, a Disabled Women’s Cooperative

Aderonke Apata – Lesbian from Nigeria fighting for asylum in the UK & campaigner

Representative from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – campaign group fighting austerity measures

In the evening, we will be celebrating with dinner cooked by The Real Junk Food Project, music from Leeds choirs, and comedy from Chris Coltrane.

The event is FREE to attend, but donations towards running costs can be made through Tidal’s page on LocalGiving. This means we can get gift aid, and from Tuesday 14th October your donation will be doubled!

Leeds for Change promotes social change across the city. We aim to connect groups, improve access and facilitate the sharing of resources and skills amongst those who share a similar vision for Leeds.

We’re putting on this event in collaboration with the wonderful Economic Justice Project.

Want to help with the day?

We are looking for people to help with everything from sign language interpreting to helping people register, so find out more about what’s involved and email volunteering@leedsforchange.org.uk to join our volunteering team.

We’ve got loads more information on our website, so for all the details visit www.leedsforchange.org.uk.

Summat New programme


Britain needs a pay rise


Britain’s on the mend? Then why are one in five working families struggling to afford life’s most basic necessities, like food, a home and even new shoes for the kids?

Life for millions of people in austerity Britain is as bad as it’s ever been. Low pay, insecure jobs, rising costs and cuts to support for the most vulnerable is causing misery. Thanks to Mr Cameron’s government only the rich are getting richer in Britain today.

Unite Community members have been busy publicising the event by leafleting at Northern General Hospital and with banners in Sheffield and Barnsley.

Join us on Saturday 18 October to tell this government that Britain needs a pay rise, jobs, homes, health and hope. Visit the link here.

Free coach travel to the demo. Contact the centre or email Joe.

Welfare Reform rallies in three towns


Trade Unionists, claimants and Unite Community activists gathered On Thursday 11 September in Sheffield, Huddersfield and Leeds to protest against the cruel and unnecessary Welfare Reforms. The activists held rallies and Information stalls and picketed one company in Sheffield over their continued use of workfare. The Yorkshire Post covered the event in Leeds (here).

Report From Leeds

“A big thanks to everyone who came along to Briggate today to show their disgust at these cruel attacks on claimants and people with long-term illness and disability. Members of the public were sympathetic, and we got a fair bit of media coverage – even if it wasn’t all accurate! Our new display boards attracted a fair bit of attention, so hopefully some of the passers-by will have learned a thing or two about what it’s really like to be on benefits and to be constantly threatened with having those benefits cut or removed.

We need to keep fighting – against the bedroom tax, against sanctions and workfare in all their forms, against the vicious Work Capability Tests and all the other attacks on the unwaged and low-paid. We need to be clear that our lives are worth more than this – whether it’s the constant misery of the job-center and the rent office or whether it’s the misery of long hours of pointless, tedious and unhealthy work at wages that barely put bread on the table. Keep watching this space for details of meetings, actions and info.”

Hands Off Our Homes Website

The Huddersfield Group are going from strength to strength and will be holding an activist training day on 30th of September email Claire Mawson to book a place.

More information on Sanctions

And Welfare Myth Busters

Leeds Unite Community Members In Action


Leeds Unite Community members teamed up with Hands Off Our Homes today, to leaflet two of the city’s Job Centres simutaniously (not bad for a rainy Friday!). Here is the leaflet we put in. The Bed Room Tax Tool Kit also goes down well when we do our sampaign stalls, here.  All these materials are available from your coordinator Joe Rollin. Why not organise a stall in your Town? As always we put a letter into the Job Centre showing our solidarity with the PCS members.

This week on Friday the 1st of August, Unite Community will be holding an information stall outside the Leeds DWP Jobcentre Plus office, to highlight the Coalition Government’s unfair and unjustified attacks on the benefits system and on the unemployed, the sick and disabled, as well as their families who rely on these benefits.

We ask you to support the action in any way you can. I want to emphasise that this Information stall is not aimed at DWP employees/PCS members who we know are under similar attack from this Government in terms of job cuts, increased threats of disciplinary measures and a squeeze on pay and conditions. We want to make common cause with you as our fight is your fight and vice versa.

Instead this Info Stall is aimed at the Government’s savage policy of cutting £30 billion out of the benefits system and forcing people off benefits through measures like the cruel sanctions regime and the discredited Work Capability Assessment.

Yours in Solidarity

Leeds Unite Community Branch


Strike: 10 July 2014 BARNSLEY

A few photos from strike action around the region today, which Unite members attended in solidarity. Best chant of the day, (to the tune of Beastie Boys) “You’ve gotta strike, for your right, to faaaaaaaaiiir pay”!

july 10 7

july 3 jully 10