THOUSANDS are expected in Sheffield today at a demonstration calling for a £10 an hour pay rate.
The South Yorkshire city suffers the lowest pay rates in the country, according to Resolution Foundation research.
Shop workers are among those worst-hit and will be a focus of the demonstration organised by Sheffield Trade Union Council (TUC) as part of its “Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise” campaign.
Among the speakers is food workers’ union (BFAWU) president Ian Hodson.
He told the Morning Star: “Since the war on trade unionism began we have seen an explosion in zero-hours contracts, low pay, and destabilisation of communities with attempts to divide us.
“The government has used the issue of disabled people unable to work, migrants — but discrimination has not improved anyone’s lives. It has not built a single house or helped a single hospital.
“Poverty pay is not caused by your neighbour. It is caused by your employer.”
Sheffield TUC secretary Martin Mayer said: “More workers benefited from the government’s so-called national minimum wage of £7.20 per hour than elsewhere,” he said.
“Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise Campaign is aimed at all workers, not just those on the minimum wage.
“Most workers have seen their pay packets fall in real terms since the crash — and working families are worse off across the city.”
Other speakers include Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and workers from Asos, Sports Direct and other low-paid workplaces.
Demonstrators will assemble at 1pm in Devonshire Green with a rally at City Hall 2.15pm.