“Northern Powerhouse or Northern Poorhouse?”

Huge Sheffield March and Rally for Jobs Saturday lunchtime 9th April

John McDonnell, Labour Shadow Chancellor has confirmed he will speak at the rally on City Hall steps and so has Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary.

Many hundreds of trade unionists and supporters will be converging on Sheffield’s city centre this Saturday lunchtime to demonstrate for jobs and call for a real revival of Sheffield’s austerity-ravaged economy. 

“We are expecting a large crowd to assemble in Barkers Pool on Saturday to address our “Northern Powerhouse or Northern Poorhouse?” rally ,” said Martin Mayer Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council. “We hope shoppers in town will stop by to join us and listen to what the trade union and labour movement have got to say about George Osborne’s so-called Northern Powerhouse. It certainly doesn’t feel like a Northern Powerhouse in this city!”

“It’s looking big for Saturday!” said Martin mayer. ” Marchers will be assembling at Devonshire Green S3 7SW (off Devonshire Street) for 12 noon before for a city centre march to Barkers Pool for a rally on City Hall steps for 1pm. “There’ll be an array of union banners and lots of noise! But it will be friendly and welcoming, so please come and join us!” said Martin.

Explaining the reasons for the event, Martin Mayer said “The Government’s “Northern Powerhouse” is a joke. Massive cuts to Council funding have seen hundreds of jobs lost. The Steel industry is being abandoned by a Government that simply doesn’t care. Now even the civil service jobs in Sheffield that are involved in the Northern Powerhouse project are being moved to London! You couldn’t make it up!” “We are fed up with the loss of jobs in this city and around this region. Austerity is having a devastating effect. There are few decent jobs left. For many, minimum wage jobs on zero hours contracts are the only jobs going. It’s time to come out on the streets and say enough is enough! Come and join us and hear from a range of speakers about an alternative vision and why it doesn’t have to be this way.”

speakers at the rally in Barkers Pool will include 

 John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary

Paul Blomfield MP Sheffield Central

Dr Will Sapwell Sheffield Junior Doctors

Julie Dore Sheffield City Council Leader

Marion Llloyd PCS Sheffield BIS

Bev Clarkson UNITE Steel Officer

Martin Foster UNITE convenor Scunthorpe

Simon Murch NUT

Peter Davies GMB

Martin Mayer Sheffield TUC (rally host)

STOP PRESS! Junior Doctor’s leader Dr.Will Sapwell will be speaking at the rally. Their dispute is widely supported and he can expect a very warm reception!

STOP PRESS! Steel workers from Rotherham and Stocksbridge will be there, fighting for their jobs as Steel faces its biggest crisis yet. We are delighted to report that Scunthorpe UNITE steel workers have hired a coach to come to the rally!

Who else will be there? PCS members will be there in force, fighting for Civil Service jobs in the city. There already were highly controversial plans in place to move a lot of these jobs out of Sheffield (HMRC, DWP etc). Then the Government announced earlier this year that BIS, which includes civil servants supposedly working on the Northern Powerhouse project, is to close down and move to London!

UNISON, GMB and UNITE council workers will be there. They have faced a torrid time since 2010 as a result of exceptional Government austerity cuts which has devastated the finances of Sheffield City Council and other local authorities in the area. They have faced pay freezes and hundreds of redundancies. A Northern Powerhouse is a nonsense without properly funded local Authorities investing in our economy and supporting local businesses.

Look out for the FBU banner as fire-fighters will be there, protesting massive cuts to this essential public service, and attacks on their pay, pension an conditions. Look out too for UNITE bus workers and UNISON, GMB and UNITE NHS workers. Trade unionists and Labour Party members will be there, in support of the above but also with their own stories of how austerity has affected them, their families and their communities. In fact everyone is welcome – come and join us!