Tag: unite the union

Holocaust Memorial Day

We are going to be displaying posters and handing out booklets to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in our Barnsley Community Centre on the 29th and 30th of January.

Please take a little time to read the stories linked below:

Esther Brunstein http://hmd.org.uk/resources/stories/esther-brunstein the daughter of a Trade Union activist and survivor of the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz.

2nd May 1933 http://hmd.org.uk/content/02051933-dissolution-german-trade-unions about the dissolution of German Trade Unions.

Holocaust Memorial Day booklets: http://www.hmd.org.uk/sites/default/files/hmd_2014_about_hmd_booklet.pdf

HMD Posters http://www.hmd.org.uk/resources/artwork/2014-posters

HMD Website: http://www.hmd.org.uk/

HMD Vimeo Channel: http://vimeo.com/hmd2701

HMD Media: http://www.hmd.org.uk/page/media


Campaigners take cuts protest to Durham streets (From The Northern Echo)

The Northern Echo: Campaigners take cuts protest to Durham streets
Campaigners take cuts protest to Durham streets

VOLUNTEERS from a new campaigning community centre took to the streets to highlight problems caused by welfare cuts.

Unite community volunteers based at the new part-time community and advice centre at Red Hills, in Durham City, staged an information event in Durham Market Place on Monday (January 6).

They handed out leaflets and offered advice on avoiding debt.

They say the Government’s welfare reforms are putting people in need.

Robbie Faulds, one of the volunteers, said: “Everyone we spoke to was in agreement that people are hurting, especially after Christmas.

“Even if they weren’t experiencing difficulties themselves, they invariably knew a friend or family member who would benefit from the advice we will be offering at the centre and understood the need to campaign against the cuts which are so damaging to the most vulnerable in our society.”

The Community Support Centre is open from 10am to 3pm every Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, visit durhamcsc.wordpress.com.

Original article here: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/10919531.Campaigners_take_cuts_protest_to_Durham_streets/

Campaign Bootcamp

We discussed this briefly at the last team meeting, it now looks as though Pauline Doyle has struck a deal where we can sponsor four places to Bootcamp.

The organisers are ideally looking for people who are young (I think that is a requirement) from outside the M25, when I spoke to the organisers about 95% of applicants were from London. They are also hoping to increase the number of people from BAME backgrounds and those without a university degree. Though our work we must have some excellent people out there.

The website is – www.campaignbootcamp.org

If you know anyone who is keen to apply or anyone you think should apply please put in touch with me and I can have a chat with them colin.stuart@unitetheunion.org.

Hardline university bosses refuse to budge on pay, as 3 December strike looms

Hardline bosses at cash rich universities are blamed by Unite, the country’s largest union, for failing to reach a fair settlement before a second day of strike action at UK universities on Tuesday (3 December).

Despite talks under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) refused to budge, so Unite’s members in higher education will be joining Unison, the University and College Union (UCU) and the Scottish education union, the EIS for a one day strike on Tuesday.

Unite contrasts the five year pay drought which its members have endured, resulting in a 13 per cut in pay in real terms since 2008, with the lavish remuneration packages – averaging just under £250,000 a year – that the UK’s vice chancellors enjoy.

Unite national officer for education Mike McCartney said that the one per cent pay offer on the table for 2013/14 was “completely unacceptable”, given that the cumulative operating surplus in the higher education sector was now over £1 billion.

Mike McCartney said: “We had a very successful one day strike on 31 October when our members were heartened by the strong support from other staff, students and members of the public.

“The intransigence of the employers, who are sitting on a cash mountain of £1 billion, has not moved us forward. No new offer, other than the existing one per cent, leaves the higher education unions with no choice, but to take further strike action on 3 December.

“The unions are at a loss as to why the meeting under Acas’ watchful eye went ahead with nothing extra being put on the table – it makes a mockery of the concept of negotiation.

“It should be not be forgotten that it is the hard work of higher education staff that keeps Britain in the top ten of the world’s universities.

“While highly paid vice chancellors travel the world, in some style, drumming up student numbers, it is our members that underpin the whole higher education system.”

Unite’s membership embraces technicians, laboratory assistants, administrators and facilities management staff. The union has about 20,000 members in higher education.

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Defend Workers’ Rights Demo

Saturday 16 November

On Saturday 16 November we will be marching in Doncaster to defend workers’ rights.

Last winter 183 Doncaster-based Unite drivers were sacked by Eddie Stobart Ltd (ESL) following a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment) transfer from Tesco.

Outsourcing and TUPE transfer is bad news for workers in many industries as more and more employers are exploiting the legislation to their advantage – and the disadvantage of our members. The whole point of TUPE is to protect workers when a business changes hands.

At the same time the government is planning to dilute TUPE legislation further. These changes will drive down workers’  terms and conditions and put jobs at risk.

We must stand united and strong to protect workers’ rights and let people know that exploitation through the TUPE process is unacceptable.

We are asking members and activists to meet at Doncaster Rovers football ground, Keepmoat Stadium, Stadium Way, Doncaster DN4 5JW at 11.00 am on Saturday 16 November for a march past the gates of the Tesco depot, returning to the football ground for a rally.

If you can join us in Doncaster – bring your flags and banners – and let’s make a stand against worker exploitation.

Say NO to the Bedroom Tax

Dear Unite Community members,

It is really important to make sure politicians know how this change to the benefits system is affecting ordinary people.

On Tuesday 12th November, the Labour Party has arranged a day of opposition to the Bedroom Tax. As well as holding a debate in the House of Commons, a meeting has been arranged for those affected by the bedroom tax to share their stories with MPs, and also meet other people who have faced similar experiences.

This meeting will be hosted by trade union MP Ian Lavery, and we will also be joined by other MPs including Rachel Reeves, who is leading the anti-bedroom tax campaign.

Please join us in this crucial protest, and show the government we won’t accept this cruel and unfair tax. The details of the times and locations are below. We will have Unite stewards on hand to make sure you know where to go on the day.

Unite the Union has also organised a no bedroom tax demo and potential photo call directly after the meeting. It would be great to see you there.

NO to Bedroom Tax meeting: Tues 12th November, 10am – 12.30pm Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, SW1A 0AA

NO to Bedroom Tax rally: 1pm onwards, Old Palace Yard outside the Houses of Parliament, SW1A 0AA.

If you can’t make to London please take a couple of moments to email your MP directly and ask them to stand this those affected by the Bedroom Tax by take part in Tuesdays debate. Please follow this link – http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/stopthebedroomtax/

If you are interested in attending this, or if you know of anyone directly affected that would like to have their say please let me know!! We will be happy to pay for your travel expenses, we can do that in advance if you let us know by 2pm on Monday the 11th of November.

If you can’t make this event but would like to have your say you can email your MP directly:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this or cannot make this event but want to get involved with your local Unite Community group.

Or if you know of any local events or potential campaigns or anyone else in your community that may want to join and get involved please ask them to get in touch, the more members we have the louder our voice will be to create positive changes in our communities.

Bye for now

Colin Stuart
Unite Community

November 5th Day of Action

A great report from the South Yorkshire People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

11.00 – 12.00
Yesterday morning over sixty disabled activists and supporters gathered outside the Atos assesment centre in Sheffield to protest about work capability assesments. The action was called by Unite Community and supported by Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) and UK Uncut. Speakers included Mike Higgins of DPAC who called for an end to work capability assesments and the use of for profit companies in the assement of disabled people.

A sea of red Unite flags surrounding Ratos, the giant inflatable rat, greeted passes by, many of whom stopped to see what was happening and offer support. Speakers from Unite Community and ex-Remploy workers talked about the hardships disabled people face in Austerity Britain. Mike Higgins called for the creation of a Sheffield DPAC, announcing a launch meeting for all interested parties.

12:00 – 13:00
The Demonstration ended with a speech by Unite member Oliver Clayton, recently sacked from his zero hour contract job at the Sheffield branch of CEX. He asked demonstrators for solidarity with his fight to get his job back. Virtually everyone present then got behind the Unite Community banner and marched onto Sheffield High Street and descended upon CEX, not only to demand Oliver’s reinstatement, but to campaign against the company’s unfair use of zero hour contracts.

13:00 – 16:00
The demonstration was soon joined by around sixty members of the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO), who were staging a walk-out over the privitisation of probation services. After a short session of protest and chanting, the main bulk of the gathering marched on to Sheffield Town hall, whilst others joined bedroom tax activists, food banks and faith groups holding an alternative market in the city centre. Freshly baked donations were recieved by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) and Sheffield students, who gave away cakes and leaflets to passers by.

16:00 – 18:00
Striking probation officers, disability activists and zero hour campaigners joined together with trade unionists and other campaigners and community groups to hear speakers from across the movement, in a rally organised by the Peoples Assembly. The mood was vibrant with over 200 people shouting and cheering as speakers called for more action. People spoke of the huge attacks our communities are facing, with increased poverty, hunger, desperation and illness caused by austerity. People spoke of the need to unite, to organise and to fight back.

Benefits justice activist Jennifer Bush spoke of the pain of the Bedroom Tax, striking probation worker Sharon Price spoke of the need to escalate strike action against this government. Unite Member Mark keening talked of the difficulties their members face in the council. BFAWU president Ian Hodson spoke of the magnificent victory over zero hour contracts for the Hovis workers, and talked passionately about the importance of learning from our victories and supporting all campaigns. Joe Forde spoke of the need to remove the need for food banks, and Sheffield students were represented with passionate speeches by Henry Parkyn Smith and Apryl Walcott.

The biggest cheer of the day went to Unite Community member Jack Hetherington who used his closing speech to call for direct action, resulting in the immediate blocking of the road as symbol of what collective action can achieve. On his call, around 100 people gathered behind the Unite Community Banner and staged a ten minute blockade of rush hour traffic to cause disruption and gain publicity.

Many people stayed around after the demonstration to enjoy the atmosphere, the music and the excellent street theatre. Eventually the increasing rain and cold forced people to retire to the pub or disappear off to bonfires, but there’s no doubting the day’s events lifted many people’s spirits.

Find the original article here.

Bonfire Against Austerity Nov 5th!

Today Nov 5th unite community activists in Sheffield, together with activists from uk uncut., D.P.A.C and the people’s Assembly held a picket of private for profit Atos. The company responsible for huge hardship and misery for many disabled people. Speakers called for an end to the work capability assessment and an end to the profit motive in public services. The 60 or so activists and supporters then marched to a local porn shop CEX where sacked unite member, Oliver Clayton had called a picket over zero hours contracts demanding his job back. Around 130 people manned the demonstration at CEX after striking probation workers joined the demonstration! Spontaneously songs of solidarity forever and chants of the workers united will never be defeated were heard. Both demonstrations then marched jointly to Sheffield Town Hall to join people collecting for food banks, bedroom tax campaigners and others.

What a Fantastic day of Action!!!
Next Unite Community Meeting in South Yorkshire is on the 12th of November in Sheffield at the United Reform Church come along! Get Involved! Unite and Fight!!


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New union community support centre for Durham to open

Durham opening poster

Unite, the UK’s largest union and the Durham Miners Association (DMA) have joined forces to open a community centre in Red Hill, Durham which will support the local community.

The new centre at Miners Hall, Red Hill, Durham, Co Durham, DH14BD, will have its “Grand Opening” on Friday 15 November from 2pm where the public and press will be able to meet the volunteers and see what the centre has to offer.

The centre will be open for two days a week (10am – 3pm, Wednesday -Thursday) offering help and support for individuals and for the community as a whole. The centre will allow people to learn new skills, provide support with welfare problems and support for people looking for work. The centre will also become a hub for the local community to campaign on welfare changes.

With devastating cuts, such as the Bedroom Tax, housing benefit cuts and ATOS to name a few, the centre will introduce Benefit Buddying, which will offer peer-to-peer support for many of the most vulnerable people who will suffer as a result of these cuts and who have difficulties with benefit claims.

With unemployment running at 22,700 in County Durham – the largest number of any local authority area in the North East and over 4,000 unemployed young people – the centre’s services will be a vital resource for the local community adversely affected by government’s cuts to services and social security payments.

Unite regional secretary Karen Reay said: “This exciting development in conjunction with the Durham Miners Association brings Unite back into our industrial heartlands. Our members can be confident that we are aware of their local issues and that Unite is seeking to work with the people of Durham to address them.

“By working with local campaign groups and politicians we can ensure that our members’ voices are heard and that issues that matter to them are top of the local agenda.”

David Hopper of the DMA said: “We have opened the community support centre in partnership with Unite in a response to the vicious attacks on the benefits system brought in by the Con-Dem government. The last Conservative government decimated our coal industry now this government is making the people of the North East suffer all over again.”

Unite regional community coordinator Joe Rollin said: “I am really pleased that we are opening this centre in Durham where the local community is in great need of support and this centre will go some way to providing that assistance.

“Our experience of working with local groups and individuals ensures that issues which matter to people are campaigned for. This centre will become a focal point for making those changes.”

Unite has already opened four such centres this year – in Barnsley, Belfast Cinderford and Tower Hamlets in east London.

Downloadable PDF Poster: Durham opening poster

Unite Activists Up-skill to Get OUR Message OUT through Old and New Media

On the 23rd and 24th October 23 Unite Community Activist, Workplace Reps and Unite Officials attended a Graphic Design and New Media course. The emphasis was on gaining practical skills to assist with our campaigns and get our message out to a wider audience. These two days assisted to link our Community and Workplace agendas: with the central aim to WIN both industrially and in wider society.

The materials produced on day 1 covered our campaigns on :- Food Banks, ATOS, Yorkshire Ambulance dispute, workplace education, benefits and the bedroom tax.

newmedia1 newmedia2

Day 2 concentrated on assessing the usefulness of New Media and how to dovetail both to assist WIN our campaigns. Each attendee was tasked to produce blog around their particular campaign.

Tim McSharry (Head of Disability and Diversity Access Committee for Leeds) Unite Community Activist commented. ‘Just a quick note on behalf of Phil, Damian and me, to offer our most sincerest thanks to you and Unite the Union for yesterday`s Digital Media Training.

The training was outstanding and it will undoubtedly enable us to raise our game across every aspect of our campaigning and peer-advocacy work. You and Neil should hopefully receive the proof of the pudding in the near future. With many thanks again and very kindest regards, Tim.

These courses are part of a series of practical schools to assist build the skills set of our Community Activists. Public Speaking Courses are planned for Barnsley and Durham in November.

If you have any ideas on what courses you would like delivered  – Twitter ? Please contact me on 0779 111 3806 or email me on david.condliffe@unitetheunion.org