Tyne & Wear May Day brochure 2022 by CatwitchCreative

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SOLIDARITY FOR EVER – UNITED WE ARE STRONG! CONTENTS Contents & Speakers..................................... 2 Editorial Martin Levy........................................................ 4 Never a more challenging time for trade unions Liz Blackshaw................................................ 6-7

MAY DAY SOCIAL, Friday 29 April 7.30-11 pm, Tyneside Irish Centre, 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle NE1 4SG Entertainment from the Belta Reivers Admission with raffle ticket purchase

Labour must find its voice on peace Andrew Murray................................................. 9

MARCH & RALLY, Saturday 30 April

All reactionaries are paper tigers Alex Gordon.....................................................11

ASSEMBLE: 11 am, Bandstand, Exhibition Park, Newcastle

The need for strength, unity and solidarity Daniel Kebede.................................................13

MARCH LEAVES: 11.30 am prompt led by the Backworth Colliery Band

Build a political alternative from the ground up Ben Chacko......................................................15 MUSIC – at the social, on the march, and at the rally................................................18-19 Tyne & Wear May Day 2019................20-21 Tyne & Wear Online May Day 2021 22-23 The Durham Miners’ Gala is Back Dave Anderson........................................26-27 Folk of Jarrow – Rebel Town Festival ....30 Tyne & Wear May Day 2022 Committee: Mollie Brown•Ron Brown•Bethany Elen Coyle •Tony Dowling •David Hamet•Martin Levy • Jim Simpkin The Committee thanks all those individuals and organisations who have made this year’s event possible. If you would like to get involved with planning and organising next year’s May Day celebrations, then please: Contact the May Day Committee c/o Martin Levy, 13 Shoreham Court, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 2XG· email maydaycommittee@newcastle-tuc.org.uk 2 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

RALLY: 12 noon, Grey’s Monument

Speakers include Liz Blackshaw Regional Secretary, Northern Region TUC Alex Gordon President, RMT Daniel Kebede President, NEU Andrew Murray Vice-president, Stop the War Coalition Ben Chacko Editor, Morning Star Music from Bethany Elen Coyle and Ron Brown Print: Whittle Print 36 Hutton Close, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, Tyne & Wear NE38 0AH http://www.whittle-print.co.uk Design: CatwitchCreative· http://CatwitchCreative.co.uk

EDITORIAL WELCOME TO THE 2022 Tyne & Wear May Day – our first in-person celebrations since 2019. Our 2020 plans were already well advanced when the Covid lockdown pre-empted them; and in 2021, the Committee decided, in the interests of public safety, to hold an online celebration instead of a street event. While not the same, that did at least keep the spirit of International Workers’ Day alive. You can find snapshots from both the 2019 and 2021 events in this brochure.

June 18. NEU president Daniel Kebede will report on the issues facing the teaching profession; while RMT president Alex Gordon will address not only the burgeoning disputes in the rail industry, but in particular P&O Ferries’ disgraceful sacking of 800 staff. Morning Star editor Ben Chacko will argue that, with no party at Westminster seeming prepared to address the current economic and environmental crisis, support for a political alternative needs to be built from the ground up.

Of course, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since 2019. By failing to follow World Health Organisation guidelines of ‘Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support’ on Covid, our Tory government has presided over the deaths of at least 172,000 people, and allowed the disease to run rampant. Vaccination alone was never going to be a solution by itself, and even now, many vaccinated people are getting infected.

All these workers in struggle need our solidarity, but we must remember that solidarity should be international too, and that includes the fight for peace. As I write this introduction, it is nearly two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The war there is not in the interests of either Russian or Ukrainian workers, and Russia’s invasion has been rightly condemned in the trade union movement. But, as Andrew Murray of the Stop the War Coalition will argue, the Labour Party should also oppose NATO’s expansionist policies, and should urge the British government to support negotiations to end the conflict, rather than trying to prolong the war for its own selfish reasons.

Throughout the pandemic, key workers worked tirelessly, to little reward. Now that the pandemic is abating, for the present, we have sharp inflation, ballooning gas and electricity prices, public sector pay falling well behind, and the rising threat of climate change. Workers are fighting back, and their struggles will be reflected by our key rally speakers. Liz Blackshaw, from the Northern Regional TUC, will give an overall perspective and in particular promote the TUC’s ‘Britain Needs a Pay Rise’ demonstration in London on

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SOLIDARITY FOR EVER – UNITED WE ARE STRONG! Martin Levy May Day Committee chair

Britain Needs a Pay Rise

Join the March in Parliament Square Saturday 18 June

Make your voice heard to secure action and a better deal for working people. Join us in representing the Northern region Bringing together people from every union, every region and every nation One voice to get a fairer deal for working people To play your part please email us at: E: TUCNorthern@tuc.org.uk Northern TUC Regional Secretary: Liz Blackshaw Northern TUC I Unite Building I 1st floor I John Dobson Street I Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8TW Tel: 0191 227 5550 I Email : LBlackshaw@tuc.org.uk I www.tuc.org.uk/northern

Changing the world of work for good

NEVER A MORE CHALLENGING TIME FOR TRADE UNIONS THIS INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY, Northern TUC is celebrating our workplace representatives – the front-of-house army who have continued to represent, negotiate, plan, ballot, strike and lead from the front, right through the pandemic. And we are assured in knowing that they will continue as the movement fights against the most recent swathe of attacks on the one million plus workers located across the North-East and Cumbria. The fact of the matter is that, in the words of Frances O’Grady’s opening address to our Annual Conference in March, there has never been a more challenging time for trade unions than right now. We say that a lot, but it is serious for our representatives. Let’s look at why. WAGES In the north-east of our region, 173,470 key workers earn below £10 an hour, representing 43% of all key workers. The workers whom we clapped and cheered at our doorsteps are not only trapped in poverty pay, but subject to patronising platitudes from this government – who have repeatedly failed to provide employment security and pay rises, or to act to solve the care crisis which is now standing at thousands of job vacancies across the region. Why would people go into a career where, just to go to work, you have to pay through unpaid travel time, uniforms costs and underpaid mileage rates – and provide your own transport? In residential settings, there are workers who become one of these statistics just by crossing authority boundaries and receiving a different rate of pay. CHILD POVERTY According to the latest available regional data, child poverty levels in this region are the second highest in the country behind London - a shocking statistic, which is a result of the years of austerity governance and failure to hold big business to account. Food banks are celebrated daily for their community spirit and local business contributions, but the systemic 6 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

causes are yet to be addressed. But when you analyse key worker households, you find the situation is even more provocative. 56,198 children in such households in the North-East – 29% – are living in poverty. Between 2019/20 and 2020/21, food bank usage across the NorthEast rose by 26%. UNEMPLOYMENT Unemployment within the region stands at 5.5%. This is well above the national average of 4% and is the highest in the UK. I mentioned earlier the vacancies that are currently held, but for many people the lack of access to affordable transport, childcare and skills to undertake the work are missing from the system. NET ZERO There are a number of net-zero projects which have the potential to bring in thousands of jobs across the region and also to market our region globally, as the biggest offshore wind farm in the world (when joined with Yorkshire and Humberside). Nevertheless, these projects have yet to provide significant jobs or income to the region, nor was any major new investment announced in the recent ‘levelling up‘ White Paper.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION The volume of registered industrial disputes across the UK is going up. New initiatives mapping strikes and actions short of a strike show how this is spread across the country. Union members from the tug-boat sector at Teesport, employed by Svitzer Marine Ltd, followed due process to receive an overwhelming 100% legally compliant ‘yes’ vote to action. They then joined forces with unions in Australia and the Netherlands in the fight against the parent company Maersk, a global maritime force predicted to make profits of £11.84 billion for 2021. But employers are not held to the same level of account as unions. We all saw P&O not only sack 800 workers without legal process; they then tried to apologise whilst claiming they would take the same action again, including failing to notify appropriate bodies including trade unions. And it is not just here in this country.

UNION REPRESENTATIVES However, union reps are fighting to improve pay and conditions every day across our workplaces, and they are winning. When new jobs, green agreements and improvements in access to childcare, training, transport and safety are won, or even just compliance with statutory minimums like enforcement of national minimum wage claims, this is all thanks to our union reps here and abroad. So today, in celebration of International Workers’ Day, let’s give our thanks, applause and solidarity to our mighty cadre of union reps and let’s march in support of all our reps and to demand resolutions to these issues in London on 18 June.

Liz Blackshaw Regional Secretary Northern Region TUC




Tony Curry

Andy Noble

Regional Secretary

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EC Member

Regional Treasurer


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Dave Howe


Regional Treasurer


Regional Chair

Jim Bittlestone

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28/03/2022 08:43

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LABOUR MUST FIND ITS VOICE ON PEACE MAY DAY 2022 is being celebrated while peace in Europe is more precarious than for many years. Ukraine is being laid waste by an unjustifiable Russian invasion, with thousands of civilian deaths, millions of refugees and great material destruction. The war has escalated international tension, with vast increases in military spending in prospect, and the deployment of NATO troops eastwards.The world is divided, with Europe following the USA in imposing punitive sanctions on Russia, while China, India and much of Africa and the Middle East remain neutral. This dangerous situation demands a clear labour movement response. It is right to condemn Russia’s aggression, but that alone is not sufficient. The present crisis reflects the missed opportunity of the end of the Cold War, when NATO should have been dissolved along with the Warsaw Pact. Instead, NATO has been deployed in one war after another – Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya – and expanded up to the Russian border, in breach of promises given at the end of the Cold War. The US, with British support, has preferred to pursue hegemony instead of peace. And it is hard for Western governments to criticise Putin for breaking international law in Ukraine when they have the stain of the illegal and disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq on their record.

It should back brave anti-war protesters in Russia against Putin’s regime, and also condemn the Ukrainian government’s crackdown on left-wing voices and political parties. It should oppose the expansionist policies of NATO, as well as the Russian invasion. A new security plan for Europe, not old divisions, is needed. Labour should oppose a new arms race in Europe and prioritise tackling the cost-of-living crisis instead. It should demand a warm welcome for refugees fleeing war, whether it be in Ukraine, Syria, Libya or Afghanistan. It should urge the British government to play a supportive role in relation to negotiations to end the conflict, rather than trying to prolong the war for their own selfish reasons. Labour must find its voice, lest this conflict simply be the precursor to further and larger great-power conflicts across the world.

Andrew Murray Deputy President Stop the War Coalition

Labour should not stay silent on the crisis, nor limit itself to parroting the government’s approach.The message of May Day has always been that the cause of labour is the cause of peace. Labour should stand for the solidarity of workers in Ukraine and Russia against war, and for the solidarity of trade unionists and socialists in Britain with both. TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022 | 9


www.rmt.org.uk General Secretary: Mick Lynch

President: Alex Gordon

ALL REACTIONARIES ARE PAPER TIGERS ON 17 MARCH P&O Ferries informed 800 workers they were sacked with immediate effect. Since then, the RMT has mobilised and campaigned in support of our members from Cairnryan to Dover and from Hull to Liverpool and Larne. Politicians and media for once turned their fire on P&O’s chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite, and his boss, the Sultan of Dubai (owner of DP World). P&O’s grotesque pre-scripted Zoom call announcing plans to replace the crews with low-paid agency labour attracted public derision and anger. Hebblethwaite told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee that agency crews would earn “on average” £5.50/hour. Recruitment ads from CSM Baltic read: “No seafarers’ documents are needed, just previous experience in hospitality institutions.” The ads say that stewards will work eight weeks on (12 hours per day), eight weeks off. One advertisement offered rates of pay of £1.81/ hour. P&O’s model is inherently racist, with Eastern European workers being used to undercut UK-based ratings and officers, and Filipino and Indian workers used to undercut them even further. But what makes this case so critical is that, if P&O can flout the laws on redundancy, statutory consultation, maritime safety and the minimum wage, then the model could be imposed on any factory, depot, or office in this country. In the recent past, ferry operators in Britain and Europe have used EU liberalisation directives and European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings to facilitate the race to the bottom in ferry workers’ pay, terms and conditions. In November 2003, Finnish Seamen’s Union FSU struck against Viking Line’s decision to register the Rosella in Estonia, to employ Estonian crew at lower pay. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in London called for a boycott of all Viking Line vessels.

But Viking took the ITF to court to withdraw its boycott, and sought an order against FSU not to infringe Viking’s rights under EU Article 43 EC – the right of firms to relocate to any EU member state. The Court of Appeal in London deferred to the ECJ, which held that the EU rules did apply. In August 2005, Irish union SIPTU discovered agency staff on Irish Ferries’ MV Normandy – brought in to replace unionised labour earning €10-11/hour – paid €3.57/hour for 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week, with no holiday pay. But despite picketing at French ports, which laid up Irish Ferries’ ships for weeks, and a protest march of 100,000 in Dublin, Ireland’s Labour Relations Commission imposed a settlement giving Irish Ferries permission to outsource its crews, although at the national minimum wage of €7.65/hour. The business model of Viking Line, Irish Ferries and P&O is rejected by the vast majority of peoples of this country who want to live in a society where maritime safety and decent union-negotiated pay and conditions prevail. All allegedly powerful reactionaries are merely paper tigers because they are divorced from the people. The Sultan of Dubai is a paper tiger. He will be overthrown. Alex Gordon RMT National President TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022 | 11

Greetings from the National Education Union

value education.

THE NEED FOR STRENGTH, UNITY AND SOLIDARITY I WAS IMMENSLEY PROUD to be the NEU’s elected National President for the union’s annual conference on 11-14 April this year, as we came together in person for the first time since 2019. So much has changed since then. In 2019 the conference was addressed by the then leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May was the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was on the back benches, none of us had a clue what Zoom was, we had never heard the phrase “You’re still on mute” and the thought of a global pandemic was beyond most of our comprehension. It feels like a lifetime ago, and it is the same feeling for May Day, which was also last celebrated on the streets in 2019. It has been such a turbulent time. During this pandemic our children, our families, our communities, have faced their toughest challenge yet. We have been through so much as a profession and indeed so much as a union. It has been a time of crisis in which our government has not valued the lives of ordinary people. At our conference this year I thanked our members and officers for raising the issue of health and safety at work, because without that many more lives would have been lost. In our union, we all have stories of grief and loss coming out of this journey. However, education workers have gained a renewed respect in our communities as we have kept families connected, fed and supported through this isolating time.The NEU has gained over 50,000 new members as more and more workers realise the power of their trade union. May Day takes place as working people face the biggest squeeze on living standards in 50 years and the most catastrophic cost-of-living crisis in a generation. We know that rising fuel prices, energy bills, food costs and tax rises are

© JessHurd28 taking their toll on our members. Our schools are facing renewed funding pressures and child poverty is spiralling out of control. The need for strength, unity and solidarity across the trade union movement has never been stronger. Making the connections between our own struggles and others is critical to achieving the equal and inclusive education system our union is fighting for. We want to build an education system and society in which our children and young people can flourish. Daniel Kebede President National Education Union

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Karen Reay Regional Secretary

Dick Banks Regional Chair


North East, Yorkshire and Humber Region UniteNEYH




join.unitetheunion.org unitetheunion.org


BUILD A POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE FROM THE GROUND UP INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY this year comes as price rises hit tens of millions like a ton of bricks. Twenty-two million households are being clobbered by 54 per cent rises in energy bills. This alone will plunge many into poverty and debt. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is ploughing ahead with a National Insurance rise that picks working people’s pockets. Runaway inflation raises prices across the board, and is higher than average when it comes to essentials such as staple foods. The pain inflicted on ordinary people is a direct result of government choices. A wealth tax as moved in Parliament by Labour’s Richard Burgon could easily raise the sums Sunak hopes to with his tax on workers. A windfall tax on energy producers’ soaring profits could fund real relief for households; while public ownership of the energy sector would introduce proper price controls. French citizens are seeing the rise in their bills capped at 4 per cent, something that should be thrown in the face of every Tory MP who tries to blame global markets or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the rise in our living costs. The scale of suffering could spell serious trouble for the Conservatives. Campaigns for May’s local elections should be a platform to put a real alternative, but Labour’s refusal to challenge the capitalist system ultimately responsible is depriving workers of a voice.

local elections appeared to consolidate the Tory grip on ‘Red Wall’ areas seized in 2019, the picture this year could look very different. A lifeline for Labour this may be, but that changes very little unless policies that make a real difference are adopted. Labour’s acceptance of the economic status quo, combined with persecution of anyone arguing for more fundamental change, limit its potential to force the Tories to change course. And even if Labour were elected, this approach would restrict it to temporary fixes rather than policies that address the gulf between the richest and the rest. If we accept that pressures causing high inflation may last a long time, that Russia’s war and Western responses to it will cause long-term disruption to trade and commodity prices, and that coping with climate change requires real changes in the way our economy is run, we must recognise that no party at Westminster is prepared to address this crisis. This May Day we need to commit to making good that omission by raising a political alternative and building support for it from the ground up.

The relentless attacks on its own members have weakened Labour’s ability to get the vote out. Politically, its refusal to propose policies that would address the crisis such as public ownership (even though they are often its own conference-endorsed positions) leave its critique of the government weak. Even so, it is a Tory government that is responsible for this emergency, and inflicting as heavy a defeat on that government as possible across these elections should be the priority for the whole left. If the last round of

Ben Chacko Editor, Morning Star TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022 | 15

May Day Greetings from the Communication Workers Union CWU North East Region 6 Concept Court Kettlestring Lane Clifton Moor York YO30 4XF

Email: northeastregion@cwu.org

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northern.unison.org.uk Twitter @northernunison Facebook @unisonnorthern



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MUSIC – AT THE SOCIAL … Culture has always been part of the Tyne & Wear May Day events. Our marches have almost invariably been led by a local brass band. Our Exhibition Park (and before that, Leazes Park) rallies always finished with a band performance on stage. When, in 2018, we moved the end-of-march rally to Grey’s Monument, we followed that with an advertised social, and invited performers, at the Tyneside Irish Centre. In 2019, for the first time in many years, we extended our celebration to more than one day, by holding the May Day social on Wednesday 1 May, as a prelude to the march and rally on Saturday 4 May. The Covid pandemic prevented any 2020 events, and in 2021 our rally was entirely online, but we made sure that poetry and music were included. Now that we are ‘out of quarantine’, we are returning to a two-day celebration, with an eve-ofrally social at the Tyneside Irish Centre on Friday 29 April. And for that we are very pleased to have secured the services of The Belta Reivers (http://beltareivers. com/ and https://www. facebook.com/beltareivers/). In their own words, they are an “upbeat Geordie trio, bringing the best of old local songs and folk music from around the world. Sing-along’s, great instrumentals and plenty of fun.” They have played events and festivals over the North East, and have gone down a storm.

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… ON THE MARCH … To lead out our march this year, we welcome back, after a gap of several years, the Backworth Colliery Band (https://www.facebook.com/ backworth), a traditional yet progressive brass band based in Backworth, North Tyneside. The band was formed in 1886, and was part of the social element of the surrounding mine workings, but it now comprises musicians from many works of life. Rehearsing twice a week, the band performs at concerts and contests in the North East and throughout Britain. The band and its members play many varied styles of music from traditional brass band music, to dance and swing band, modern pop, classics and film music, as well as the best of modern original composition for the genre.

… AND AT THE RALLY As has been our practice at Grey’s Monument, our rally will both begin and end with music. The Backworth Colliery Band will start us off, and we shall finish after the speeches with a short session from Bethany Elen Coyle and Ron Brown (see the photo in this brochure from the 2019 rally, when they performed as The Workietickets). Please give them a warm welcome. Photographs ©The Belta Reivers and the Backworth Colliery Band.

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Dan Carden

Mick Cash

Jamie Driscoll

North East Socialist Singers

Susan Grey


The Tony Cocoran Ceilidh Band

The Workietickets Photos © Martin Levy

TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2021 Cast in order of appearance

Martin Levy

Jamie Driscoll

Chi Onwurah MP

Dave Ward

Alex Snowdon

Roger Nettleship

Carlos Martinez

Graham Stevenson

Bill Gree

Maya Goodfellow

Mike Quille

Mollie Brown

Rob Walton


Jane Burn

Ron Brown

Theresa Easton

Complete recording at https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v 22 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

SATURDAY 1 MAY - ONLINE 2021 PROGRAMME: Welcome: May Day Past & Present Guest Speakers: Jamie Driscoll (North of Tyne Mayor), Chi Onwurah MP, Dave Ward (CWU GS), Fran Heathcote (PCS president). Chair: Martin Levy

Fran Heathcote

Video of Tyne & Wear May Days 1992/1993 International: Alex Snowdon (PSC), Roger Nettleship (Stop the War), Carlos Martinez (No Cold War), Graham Stevenson (the view from Eastern Europe) Immigration: Laura Pidcock (People’s Assembly), Maya Goodfellow (author), Mollie Brown (Durham People’s Assembly)

Laura Pidcock


Defending Democracy: Ron Brown interviewing ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrator Culture and the Labour Movement: Mike Quille (Newcastle TUC), Rob Walton (poet), Jane Burn (poet) Fighting Precarious Work and Unemployment: Theresa Easton and Tony Dowling (North East People’s Assembly), Bethan Sproate, Bill Greenshields (Unemployment Fightback!), Mollie Brown Music: Robin Sunflower, David Hamet

Robin Sunflower

Tony Dowling


Bethan Sproate


Bill Greenshields

David Hamet

Photos @ Tyne & Wear May Day Committtee


We look forward to welcoming you to Durham when the Gala returns on Saturday 9 July 2022. Alan Mardghum Secretary

Stephen Guy Chair

& WEAR DAY 2017| | 23 TYNETYNE & WEAR MAYMAY DAY 2016 25


Day greetings Ian Ayres

Tyne & Wear County Association of Trades Union Councils

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www.newcastle-tuc.org.uk 22 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2017


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THE DURHAM MINERS GALA IS BACK! THE DURHAM MINERS GALA will return this year. Hosted by the Durham Miners Association (DMA) since 1871, the Gala was cancelled for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The DMA and the Friends of the Gala have been working with the local authority, police and other partners to confirm arrangements for the safe return of the event, which is attended by more than 200,000 people from across the region and beyond. We now confirm that The Big Meeting will return on Saturday 9 July 2022. Once again, the streets of Durham will be packed, as people march colliery banners to the sounds of brass brand music. The DMA announced last year that the returning Gala would be dedicated to key workers, carers and bus drivers, delivery workers and nurses, shop staff and teachers. Everyone who has risked their lives to keep society functioning throughout the pandemic will be celebrated. Between now and the Gala, we will work with trades union branches across the country to bring people into Durham, and call on the public to gather in greater numbers than ever before in support of the country’s key workers. DMA Secretary Alan Mardghum said: “We are delighted to confirm that the Gala will return in 2022. We know it 26 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

has been sorely missed. For many, it truly is the highlight of the year. The Gala has been at the heart of the cultural life of the people of the Durham coalfield area for more than 150 years. “The Gala has also been a rallying point to fight for social justice throughout its long history. We dedicate this year’s Gala to the workers of this country. As the pandemic made so clear, it is they our society truly needs. Our key workers will be centre stage, and I urge everyone to join us in Durham in a massive demonstration of our support.” Also returning is the hugely popular Miners’ Festival Service at Durham Cathedral, which has been part of every Gala since 1897. The service, in celebration of Durham’s mining heritage and its communities of today, features

brass band music and the blessing of new banners taking part in the Gala for the first time. For more than a century, the Gala was funded by the working miners of the Durham coalfield. Before the pandemic, only two world wars and two national strikes had stopped the Gala marching on. Following the closure of the collieries, the Gala is funded by donation and subscription through the Friends of Durham Miners Gala (FODMG). Those who contribute are known as ‘Marras’, a Durham miners’ term for a friend who can be relied on in times of need. We thank all of our Marras for their support, enabling us to keep the spirit of the Gala alive during the global pandemic. In its absence new digital content, including a live streamed event, brought the sights and sounds of the Gala to more than one

million people online. Last year, in the 150thanniversary of the first event, more than a dozen communities across the region hosted ‘little big meetings’, bringing people together in the spirit of the Gala. It is thanks to our Marras that the Gala will be able to return in 2022. Without you it simply could not happen in any year. The costs of hosting the Gala rise every year, but organisers are facing a huge increase in 2022. Bumper crowds are expected, safety and stewarding costs are rising and inflation has hit infrastructure costs. Everyone who values The Big Meeting is urged to chip in. If you haven’t done so yet, please join our band of Marras today, at https://www. friendsofdurhamminersgala.org/. The Gala is a unique and inspiring spectacle. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world and it happens in Durham. Whether you enjoy the sights and sounds and atmosphere of the Big Meeting, share its values of solidarity and community, or value the contribution it makes to the local economy, I urge you – please sign up, become a Marra, and help ensure this wonderful day continues to survive and thrive. Dave Anderson Chair, FODMG TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022 | 27

FBU North East ads.indd 2 North East ad - MAYDAY.indd 1

Join UNISON @ Northumbria To protect jobs To maintain health and safety for all To improve pay, terms and conditions Join UNISON online at https://join.unison.org.uk/

sends fraternal greetings We can’t pay - tax the rich! Workers of the Wear unite!

To contact the Branch email unison@northumbria.ac.uk or Telephone us on 0191 227 4105

President: Dave Allan Secretary: Steve Hansom Treasurer: Roger Lane


E-mails: SteveHansom@me.com

NO MORE MORE NO AUSTERITY AUSTERITY AUSTERITY TheNUT-section NUT-sectionof ofthe theNational National The Dialogue not war EducationUnion Unionisisproud proud to to Education Jobs not missiles supportthe the Tyne&&Wear Wear May May support FreedomTyne not repression Day March andRally. Rally. Day March and Unite to resist the vicious Tory government The National Education Union will fight for a fairlyThe National Education Union will fight for a fairlyfunded education system, with highly trained and funded education system, with highly trained and President: Martin professionals Levy qualified teachers and educational qualified teachers and educational professionals who have manageable Jim workloads, fair pay and good Secretary: Simpkin who have manageable workloads, fair pay and good working conditions . Treasurer: working conditions . Alan Lubbeck The National Education Union: “Shaping the future of education” The National Education Union: “Shaping the future of education”

Neu.org.uk Neu.org.uk

www.newcastle-tuc.org.uk 28 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

from MayDay Daygreetings greetings from May


Solidarityfrom fromthe the Solidarity TynetotoPalestine Palestine Tyne

https://www.palestine.org www.newcastlepsc.org www.newcastlepsc.org e.www.newcastlepsc.org newcastlepsc@gmail.com

www.newcastlepsc.org e. newcastlepsc.gmail.com e. newcastlepsc.gmail.com e. newcastlepsc.gmail.com e. newcastlepsc.gmail.com Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign Newcastle Palestine Solidarity Campaign

NO MORE MORE NO Communist Party AUSTERITY AUSTERITY NORTHERN DISTRICT The NUT-section of the National The NUT-section of the National Education Education Union Union is is proud proud to to support the Tyne & Wear May support the Tyne & Wear May Day Day March March and and Rally. Rally.

Wanted: fitfor afor Thecommunities National Education Union will fight fairlyThe National Education Union will fight for a fairlyfunded education system, with highly trained and funded education system, with highly trained and working-class people qualified teachers and educational professionals qualified teachers and educational professionals who have manageable workloads, fair pay and good who have manageable workloads, fair pay and good working conditions . working conditions .

Find us on facebook and twitter Email: nepeoplesassembly@gmail.com

May Day Greetings North East Labour History Society Creating a People’s History of the North East www.nelh.net

May Day Greetings from

CatwitchCreative www.CatwitchCreative.co.uk

National Education Union: “Shaping the future of education” e.The info@ncrthemcommunists.org.uk The National Education Union: “Shaping the future of education” Neu.org.uk t. 07799 040 570 Neu.org.uk www.northerncommunists.org.uk


Newcastle Stop the toWar Coalition Greetings to all Greetings May Day 2017 May Day 2016 all for for May MayDay Day2016 2017

Greetingstoto toall all for 2016 Greetings to May Day 2017 Day 2016 allfor for May May Day 2017 Greetings all for May Day 2018 Greetings May Day 2022 for MayDay Day 2018

Says NO to ales) Elected Mayors

Sends May Day ales) greetings Secretary:Ian Ian Ayres Ayres Contact www.northeaststopwar.org.uk www.stopwar.org.uk www.stopwar.org.uk 07946 457 884 717738 email: stopthewarcoalition@gmail.com email:01670 newcastlestopwar@gmail.com email: stopthewarcoalition@gmail.com TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022 | 29




Shot, hung, deported, gibbeted, evicted, starved – 182 years of class struggle

FOLK OF JARROW – REBEL TOWN FESTIVAL Saturday 25 June Assemble 11 am near the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel entrance at Jarrow. The parade, led by Felling Silver Band and the Wardley Miners Lodge Banner, will proceed from the monument commemorating William Jobling, the union miner hanged and gibbeted for his part in the great miners’ struggles of the 1830s. The march will pause at the site of the Deep Shaft, to mark the deaths of some of the youngest miners killed in the early years of the mine. The rally, presided over by Vin Wynne of NEU, will be held in the beer garden of the Albion Gin and Ale House, Jarrow, with the band playing the miners’ hymn, Gresford, followed by invited speakers:

Kate Osborne MP The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside Tom Pickard, Geordie poet and author of the book, Jarrow March David John Douglass NUM and Follonsby Wardley Miners Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party The speakers will be followed by an afternoon of music and song from the region, plus stalls with books and T shirts etc. Please publicise the event, attend and bring your union banner. Donations to defray costs are welcome: send cheques to Follonsby Wardley Miners’ Lodge Banner Community Heritage Association, 193 Osborne Ave, South Shields NE33 3BY, or BACS to Co-operative Bank, sort code 089299, account no 65442360. Sponsored by South Tyneside Council, Tyne and Wear County Association of Trades Union Councils, Durham Miners’ Association, National Education Union, Follonsby Wardley Miners Lodge Association, Tyneside Irish Cultural Society. 30 | TYNE & WEAR MAY DAY 2022|

Protecting workers’ rights for over a century Thompsons Solicitors has proudly only ever acted for workers who have been injured or mistreated, and never for employers or their insurers. We have secured millions of pounds in compensation, won countless landmark cases and secured key legal reforms. We continue to work in solidarity with the trade union movement, using the law to fight for the rights of working people.

www.thompsonstradeunion.law 0800 0 224 224

Public and Commercial Services Union

May Day greetings from the PCS Northern regional committee, reps, members and staff

We demand fair pay to meet the cost of living crisis! PCS Northern, UNITE House, John Dobson Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE1 8TW Telephone: 020 7924 2727 Email: responseteam@pcs.org.uk

Articles inside

MUSIC – at the social, on the march, and at the rally article cover image

MUSIC – at the social, on the march, and at the rally

pages 18-19
All reactionaries are paper tigers Alex Gordon article cover image

All reactionaries are paper tigers Alex Gordon

pages 11-12
The Durham Miners’ Gala is Back Dave Anderson article cover image

The Durham Miners’ Gala is Back Dave Anderson

pages 26-27
Contents & Speakers article cover image

Contents & Speakers

pages 2-3
Labour must find its voice on peace Andrew Murray article cover image

Labour must find its voice on peace Andrew Murray

pages 9-10
Never a more challenging time for trade unions Liz Blackshaw article cover image

Never a more challenging time for trade unions Liz Blackshaw

pages 6-7
The need for strength, unity and solidarity Daniel Kebede article cover image

The need for strength, unity and solidarity Daniel Kebede

pages 13-14
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