Monthly Archives: May 2015


A reminder about the Political school. It still is not to late to apply if you have not already and would like to go. Details can be found here. This is always a very popular event.


Orgreave Bridge rally

Please see the poster below for details of a forthcoming rally

Orgreave flyer

First Ever Durham Pride Event

Durham is holding its first ever Pride event on Sunday 31st May. Please come along and show your support

Further details on the attached flyer

Durham Pride Poster

PIzza Express STILL Cheating Staff

Six years ago Unite’s fair tips campaign lifted the lid on restaurants misusing tips to top up poverty wages. The law was changed but that hasn’t stopped some restaurants still profiting from customers tips. When you leave a credit card tip Pizza Express deducts a 8% ‘admin charge’. That 8% goes into the company coffers and not to the staff who it was intended for.
Unite hospitality members held a protest outside Pizza Express flagship restaurant in Charing Cross Road.
Unite hospitality workers would appreciate any support you can give – if you eat at Pizza Express leave the tip in cash and tell the manager why – you want the tip to go to the waiting staff for good service.
Here is a short video of the protest

County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank

The Clothing Bank opened its doors today. As last time we had prom dresses and prom suits available to loan as well as our more usual items. It was a bit of a quiet day, maybe the freak stormy weather around the Durham area persuaded people to stay home. We were far from lonely though- we still had plenty of visitors.


Here is Katie who looks absolutely beautiful in the prom dress she has chosen. As predicted there was much ooohing and aaahing from the volunteers when she tried it on


Not quite so glamorous but still as lovely- here is one of our volunteers modelling one of a range of very smart coats that we have been given.


A huge thank you to Just Perfect at Shotton who have donated so much prom clothing to us. We would also like to thank all our volunteers and donators- we really could not do this without your help. We may also have found our first Clothing Bank bride after a young woman came to see us today and asked if loaning a wedding dress was possible. We were pleased to say that yes, it was. More news on that as and when it happens


Finally we would like to wish Catherine, one of the Clothing Bank founders, a speedy recovery. She has been a bit poorly recently so take care Catherine- get well soon.

Help wanted- Newcastle University Business School Research Project: The Forgotten Workers

Dr Jo McBride is a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Work and Employment at Newcastle University Business school. She has secured funding for research into what her team refer to as “The Forgotten Workers”

Jo’s project is as follows

The team are currently conducting research into the lives of low-paid workers in Yorkshire and the North-East of England.  This research is set in the context of growing levels of low-pay and inequality at the regional and national levels.

Whilst there is much focus on low-pay, poverty and social inclusion, there is little research on in-work poverty.  Indeed, it is estimated that 1 in 5 workers in the UK are paid less than the living wage.  We are keen to speak to those in low-paid multiple forms of employment in Yorkshire and the North-East, who are paid below the living wage (currently £7.85 per hour).  Our aim is to uncover the experiences and realities of working lives, and the challenges of attempting to achieve work-life balance.

We are particularly keen to involve organisations and community groups in this timely and relevant research project. Our research findings and recommendations will be widely disseminated to academic and practitioner groups that are involved in attempting to alleviate low-pay and poverty.  Through this research we will develop detailed understandings of the experiences of vulnerable low-paid workers, and use this evidence to promote social inclusion and sustainable employment policies and practices.

If you have, or know somebody who has, multiple low paid jobs and would like to speak to Jo and her team please contact us at the e mail or phone number of the Community Support Centre which can be found at “Contact Us” on the home page and we will pass your details on to Jo. Jo has assured us that all testimonies will be reported anonymously and has guaranteed confidentiality for those who take part. There is also a £20 food voucher for anybody who takes part.

Many thanks

Unite National Political School

This year’s Durham National Political School is upon us once again Places are limited to 100 and will be shared across the regions and countries; with priority given to those applicants who best meet the criteria.
This year’s event will have a strong emphasis on building for the future; we would particularly appreciate applications from members who are under 30 years of age. This is in addition to all other equality strands including gender but also BAEM members who are almost always under-represented. Finally, we are encouraging Unite Community members to apply as well as applications from people who are already activists, whether in their workplace or in their community/other organisations as well as from those whom you believe have the potential to become activists.
With these criteria in mind we would ask you to send the attached application form to members and activists whom you feel would not only develop personally but more importantly who would also be willing to give a commitment to get more involved in delivering our political strategy in the 12 months following the course. The closing date for applications to be received in our office is Tuesday Noon 9th June 2015 following which we will write to all applicants no later than 11thJune 2015 to let them know whether or not they are successful.
We are hoping for a productive and positive event. There is no specific need for applicants to be in the Labour Party, we nonetheless will be looking for activists who support Unite’s political strategy (which of course includes ‘building broad alliances’ to defeat the Tories) and understand that our National Political School will not be a forum for trying to oppose or change our policy in respect of support for Labour.