Monthly Archives: March 2014

An appeal – can you help fund a special new banner?

2014 sees the 30th anniversary of the year-long National Miners’ Strike which changed and affected the working lives of thousands of people. In support of those affected by the Strike and to ensure future generations remember, we have commissioned a new banner to be made for the Durham Unite Community Centre.

It will be unveiled at the Durham Miners’ Association Headquarters, Redhills, Durham on Thursday, 10 July, 2014, at the premier of our play “were not going back”

Davy Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association said: “This banner will mark the 30th anniversary of our national strike – a strike which saw Thatcher try to rip the hearts out of our communities. Unfortunately for the Tories we are still here and still fighting – this banner will reflect that”

Barbara Jackson Unite community member, Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures & secretary to Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign said: “The women were the heart and soul of the strike. Without the women
the strike would not have lasted a year. You can’t kill the spirit so we are not defeated.”

The North East, Yorkshire & Humberside region of Unite is supporting this initiative, however its success depends upon all of us working and funding this together collectively. Please send cheques payable to Unite the union to the address below. Read the appeal letter here.

Joe Rollin
Unite community coordinator
Unite regional office
55 Call Lane
Leeds LS1 7BW

Tel 07711 375536

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Orgreave Picket of the IPCC

Over one hundred Protesters from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign gathered today out side the Wakefield IPCC officers to call for more urgent action on their “scoping exercise” Campaigners have grown frustrated by the slow progress from the IPCC we are now seventeen months into their investigation.

The Campaign has grown rapidly with wide support from the Trade Union Movement and plans to hold a huge music festival on June the 14th on the site of the “the battle for Orgreave”

Joe Rollin Unite Community Coordinator

Campaigners included Unite Community Activists, The National Union Of Mine workers and other Trade Unionists

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Bye Bye ATOS – but the fight goes on

ATOS, the privateers who are contracted to carry out ESA Work Capability Assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions, have today announced they have ended their contract to do this work.

This does NOT mean an end to work capability assessments, so the struggle continues.

AXE THE ASSESSMENTS

Unite Community will be holding another demonstration outside the ATOS offices in Elvet house in Durham on Tuesday 1st April, from 9:30 till 11:30. We will be using the demonstration to say goodbye to ATOS, and to warn any other companies considering taking on the contract what they should expect. There will be no let up in our campaign against the work capability assessments, regardless of who carries out the DWP’s bidding in carrying out the assessments.

Come along and tell the DWP that there will be no let up in our campaigning just because ATOS have pulled out. The fight goes on!

ATOS demo mark II
Tuesday, April 1 at 9:30am

Atos Assessment centre
Elvet house
Hallgarth Street
Durham
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TUC Fair Pay Fornight: Durham

Unite Community members in Durham joined forces with the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) Union and others in support of the TUC Fair pay Fortnight campaign, highlighting the need for all workers to receive a living wage.

At least one in four workers in Durham receives less than the living wage of £7.65 per hour. Wages in general have been falling since 2009, with the average worker seeing a real terms fall in their pay of £4000 per year, leaving many families struggling on or below the breadline.

The living wage campaign calls for all to receive a basic living wage, which is simply enough to pay for the necessities in life (food, shelter, heating) but does not include luxuries. There is no excuse for employers not to pay their staff enough for the necessities of life.

More info about the campaign can be found on the campaign website

Dozens of signatures were collected despite the damp weather, and practically everyone we spoke to agreed that Britain really does need a pay rise!

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R.I.P Bob Crow: A fitting send off

Thousands of trade unionists lined the streets of East London on Monday to say farewell to Bob Crow, the RMT leader who had died at the tragically young age of 52. As a staunch Socialist and fighter for the working class, Bob will be sorely missed by his members and all those in the workers movement.

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Animated film – Women of the Working Class

An animated short film made by young women from the youth panel at Experience Barnsley Museum to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984/85 Miner’s Strike. The young people re-wrote verses of the song ‘Women of the Working Class’ that the Women Against Pit Closures used as their anthem on the picket lines. They then recorded their version with some of the original women.

The animated film is part of an exhibition Coal Not Dole: Women Against Pit Closures, held at Experience Barnsley Museum in Barnsley Town Hall from 3 March to 1 June 2014. Making this film was a fantastic opportunity for young women to learn about their local history and understand how communities in the area have changed through working with women who were at the forefront of the Miner’s Strike.

Supported by Public Funding from Arts Council England through Museums and Schools. For more information please visit http://www.experience-barnsley.com

People’s Assembly National Conference

Unite Community members were amongst the 700+ delegates in attendance at the People’s Assembly Against Austerity national conference held in London on Saturday.

Proceeding began with a tribute of a minute’s applause for Tony Benn and Bob Crow, both of whom had sadly passed away during the week. The conference then went on to honour their memories in the only way they would have wanted – by stepping up the fight against the government’s austerity agenda.

The People’s Assembly now has over 100 local groups, and 30,000 contacts nationally. AMongst the motions agreed was to employ two part time workers, and to seek funding through both individual and organisational affiliations & donations.

An action plan was agreed for the year ahead, to include a Budget Day protest, a Notional demonstration against Austerity on 21 June, a large protest at the Tory conference on 28 September and to join the TUC demonstration in London on 18th October.

A full report will be available on the near futire on the People’s Assembly website

Below are a selection of images fromt he day.

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