TRADE unionists and campaigners will demonstrate in Sheffield today in a protest against the austerity that has ravaged the city’s economy.
Speakers including Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell and public-sector union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka will be asking if the Tory government is building a northern powerhouse or northern poorhouse.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Science has announced plans to shut down its Sheffield office with the loss of 250 jobs. The work will be transferred to London.
Trade unions have condemned the decision as making a mockery of Chancellor George Osborne’s “northern powerhouse” rhetoric.
“The government’s ‘northern powerhouse’ is a joke,” said Sheffield trade union council secretary Martin Mayer.
“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.
“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.”
The protest assembles at Devonshire Green in Sheffield at noon for a march through the city centre to a rally outside Sheffield City Hall at 1pm.